As many of us know, February is the month to raise awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it – both at home and in our communities.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in Americans, with almost 29% of the United States population having some form of heart or cardiovascular disease. Many of these deaths are preventable, so Cycletique is committed to helping you make both lifestyle and dietary changes in order to make positive impacts on your heart health.
While some risk factors cannot be controlled, such as age, gender or family history, there are some basic nutritional tips we can all follow to help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Limit intake of trans and saturated fats. Pick lean cuts of beef and pork and look for cuts such as “loin” or “round” when grocery shopping. Limit processed meats that are high is saturated fats including hot dogs, salami, and bacon. When browning meat, be sure to drain off the fat. And finally, when dining out, look for descriptors on your menus such as “grilled,” “baked,” or “broiled”.
- Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Cook with oils that provide omega-3 fatty acids such as canola or flaxseed oil. Walnut oil is an excellent choice in salad dressings, too. Add walnuts or pecans for a “crunch” to salads, cereals, and muffins. Aim for 4 ounces each week of fatty fish including salmon, lake trout, albacore tuna and sardines.
- Reduce your salt intake. In most recipes, you can cut back the salt amount by almost half without any noticeable difference. Try to keep the salt shakers off the table – you’ll be less likely to add more if it’s out of reach. When reading food labels, look for the percent daily value for “sodium” to be 5% or less. This is considered a food with a lower sodium content. Finally, try to season your foods with tasty herbs, spices, garlic, or lemon juice!
Try this quick and easy, breakfast-with-a-crunch, recipe from the American Heart Association. It’s prepared the night before, which makes your mornings easier!
Overnight No-Cook Banana Oatmeal
- 2 ½ cup skim milk
- ½ Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 ½ cups rolled oats
- 2 bananas, halved lengthwise and sliced
- ¼ chopped walnuts
- In a large resealable bowl, stir together the milk, honey and vanilla extract. Stir in the oats. Seal the bowl, and place in the refrigerator overnight.
- The following day, peel and slice the bananas. Add bananas and walnuts to the oatmeal and enjoy.