When it comes to cooking, if the words “heart healthy” conjure up images of tasteless soups, bland casseroles and plain vegetables, think again. You can develop a heart-healthy meal plan that is anything but boring.
Before heading out to the grocery store, invest in a few heart-healthy cookbooks and recipes for cooking ideas. Develop a shopping list that includes the following basic items:
- Opt for “choice” or “select” grades of beef and cuts of meat that are labeled “loin” or “round” because they typically have the least amount of fat.
- For poultry, choose leaner light meat such as breasts.
- Keep cholesterol in check with lean pork and certain types of fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and mackerel.
- Buy a variety of fresh, canned or frozen fruits and vegetables.
- Look for milk and milk products that are fat-free or low-fat.
- Select breads, cereals and grains that list whole-wheat or whole-grain as the first ingredient.
Instead of frying, cook with less fat by stir-frying, roasting, grilling, broiling, baking, poaching, sautéing or steaming. For added flavor, try squeezing lemon juice on melons, drizzling vinegar on steamed vegetables, adding onion to meat, baking chicken with low-fat Italian dressing, or shaking lemon pepper on chicken.
It may be tempting to go for seconds now that your meals are so heart healthy, but you still need to control portion size. For example, one serving of pasta (1/2 cup) is approximately the size of a hockey puck, and a serving of meat, chicken or fish (two to three ounces) equates to the size and thickness of a deck of cards.
To learn more about heart-healthy foods, visit the free, online health library on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at DoctorsHospitalDallas.com/HealthyPractices.
Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake
9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218