Did you know that February is American Heart Month? If you didn’t, then you do now. It’s appropriate for this to be the month of the heart, because we celebrate love in this month and we can’t get away from everything hearts for Valentine’s Day.
There are many individuals and families who need to follow a heart healthy diet, but we should all be eating food that benefits our hearts. Heart disease isn’t a condition that comes on suddenly. It comes from years and years of poor nutrition, stress, lack of exercise, smoking, and in some cases, genetics. For most people, heart disease is preventable, but unfortunately, we don’t realize the value of prevention until it’s too late.
So, even if you don’t follow a doctor or nutritionist recommended heart healthy diet, it’s never too early to start thinking about how to incorporate more heart healthy foods into your diet.
So, what exactly does a heart healthy diet mean? Here are a few pointers:
-Increase fiber in the diet. That means fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Why? Fiber helps pull cholesterol out of the body – essential for those who want to prevent the build up of cholesterol.
-Use only healthy types of fat in the diet. Increasing the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet have been shown to lower the risk of heart disease. Salmon, trout, and mackerel all contain omega-3s. The recommendation is two servings of fatty fish each week. In addition, switching to healthier oils can be beneficial. Using olive oil or canola oil instead of vegetable oil or coconut oil.
-Decrease sodium in the diet. The easiest way to do this is to cut out highly processed food. Fast food and highly processed foods, such as frozen dinners are extremely high in sodium. Try to cook more at home and use herbs and salt free seasonings can help curb the appetite for salty foods.
I reached out to some fellow registered dietitians for a variety of heart healthy recipes to share and I have a feeling you are going to love these ideas.
Pistachio and Panko Crusted Baked Salmon by Sarah at Salubrious RD
Sheet Pan Breaded Honey Mustard Salmon from Sarah over at BLT
Grilled Salmon Chopped Greek Salad from Amanda at The Nutritionist Reviews
Black Sesame Seed Encrusted Salmon from Tracee at Triad to Wellness
Tomato Garlic Salmon with Zucchini Noodles from Andrea at Beautiful Eats and Things
Harissa Spiced Salmon Burgers from Katie at One Hungry Bunny
Grapefruit Salmon Salad from Karman at The Nutrition Adventure
Sheet Pan Maple Dijon Salmon with Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes from Kaleigh at Lively Table
Thai Lentil Salad with Miso Salmon from Kaleigh at Lively Table
Salmon Zucchini Linguini from Judy at Live Best
Turmeric Chickpea Salad Avocado Boats from Kara, The Foodie Dietitian
Tuna Burgers with Smashed Avocado and Tomato from Elizabeth at Better is the New Perfect
Vegan Avocado Brownies with Coconut Topping from Katie at One Hungry Bunny
Beans and Lentils
Black Lentils with Roasted Tomatoes, Mozzarella and Pesto by Jenny at Jenny Shea Rawn, My Cape Cod Kitchen
Nourish Lentil Bowl from Sharon at Sharon Palmer, The Plant Powered Dietitian
Caramelized Banana & Peanut Butter Oatmeal from Julie at The Gourmet RD
Vegan Chunky Monkey Overnight Oats from Tracee at Triad to Wellness
Healthy Chocolate Overnight Oats with Chia Seeds and Warm Strawberry Vanilla Compote from E.A. Stewart, The Spicy RD
No Added Sugar Banana Raisin Oatmeal Cups from Elizabeth at Better is the New Perfect
Cranberry Walnut Cookie Overnight Oats from Jenny at Jenny Shae Rawn, My Cape Cod Kitchen
Banana Pear Shamrock Smoothie from Samara at G&G Nutrition Co.
Superfood Dark Chocolate Cranberry Bark by Andrea at Beautiful Eats and Things
Dark Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding with Raspberries by Marie at Healthy Ideas Place
Vegan Wild Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie by Amy at Amy Gorin Nutrition