Cooking For a Healthy Heart
We all know that heart problems are one of the most common ailments ailing modern man and that a majority of people today suffer from one or another kind of heart problem. However, do you know that heart diseases are the number one cause of deaths in the United States with more than a million people dying of coronary and cardiovascular diseases every year? Another startling fact is that more than a third of these deaths would not have occurred if people had incorporated required changes in their lifestyles and diets. Making food choices that keep your heart healthy is not just a necessity for people who are already suffering from heart problems but for healthy individuals who want to avoid getting a heart disease in the future. Incorporating simple changes in your eating and cooking habits can make a large amount of difference to the health of your heart and help you in avoiding heart problems. Follow our tips below if you want to keep yourself and your family heart healthy for life.
Change Your Cooking Medium: An unhealthy cooking medium is one of the most important causes of clogged arteries and heart problems. For making your food healthier, banish all kinds of animal fat and switch to using vegetable oils for all your cooking needs. Instead of choosing just any cooking oil, go for olive and seed oils since they are known to be heart friendly.
Get Vegetable Friendly: Food products from animals generally have high cholesterol levels and therefore if your meal consists mainly of meats, milk, eggs, cream, butter and poultry, then it is high time that you incorporated a variety of vegetables in your diet. Make it a point to serve at least one portion of vegetables with every portion of meat or poultry and you will balance the bad effects of your high cholesterol diet instantly. You can do this by making salads, stir fries and steamed veggies a part of all your menus. They are easy and fast to make and are tasty enough to be consumed by even hardcore non- vegetarians without too much of a fuss.
Lower Your Salt And Sugar Intake: Sodium from salt in foods, specially fried and packaged snacks is a major cause of high blood pressure. Therefore, try to cook with the minimum possible amount of salt and substitute packed snacks for home made ones. While sugar does not directly cause any heart problems, it causes obesity which is another major reason contributing to all kinds of heart diseases. Start making desserts that constitute mostly of fruits and have a low fat and sugar content. Fruit salads, sorbets, low fat fruit yoghurt and raw fruit served with dips are great dessert ideas that are easy to make and healthy to boot.
Switch To Low Fat “Everything”: Even salads can prove to be unhealthy for your heart if they are laced with cholesterol laden cream dressings. Apart from making a conscious effort to buy low fat milk and animal products for cooking, you should also do away with fat and cream products. Go for non-cream dressings for your home made salads and try to substitute non-cream gravies and dressings for cream ones in pasta and non-vegetarian dishes.
Cooking wholesome, healthy meals need not be time consuming and difficult. Try some of Lisa’s easy to follow crock pot recipes which are made from scratch. You can prepare something like her apricot ginger chicken crock pot recipe in minutes in the morning and enjoy a full meal at evening with no more work.
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