Increasing your daily dose of fruits and vegetables to five or more servings per day. Try to eat a variety of fruits and veggies with different colors (think colors of the rainbow) to obtain the most amount of nutrients each day.
Decreasing the amount of refined or processed carbohydrates is also important and replacing them with high fiber, unrefined and unprocessed carbohydrates. I call the basic refined carbohydrates the 3W's (White bread, White Rice and White Pasta). Dietary fiber helps to promote normal digestion and absorption of nutrients as well as lowering the LDL or bad cholesterol level. Fiber also helps you feel more full and satisfied after meals. Some examples are oats, barley,lentils, quinoa, whole grain cereals or breads, most fruits and vegetables. Your goal should be approximately 25 grams of fiber or more per day.
High fat dairy sources should also be limited such as high fat cheeses or milk. Choose low fat milk, cheese and yogurt. Alcohol,desserts and sweets should be consumed in moderation or completely avoided if you are at high risk for heart disease and high cholesterol.
Below I have included some Healthy Heart meals and snacks. I know it isn't easy to prepare a home cooked meal everyday so I included some already prepared and store bought foods as well. Enjoy!
Oatmeal with a variety of fruits, seeds and nuts.
Try this easy and semi-homemade recipe:
1 packet Natures Path Organic Original Hot Oatmeal
1 tablespoon ground or milled organic flaxseed
1 tablespoon of Chia Seeds
2-3 tablespoons of fresh or frozen organic blueberries
optional: 1 tsp of organic unsalted peanut or almond butter
Add all the above ingredients into a bowl. Add about 1/8-1/4 cup boilig water (or you can add then microwave if in hurry). The amount of water depends on how you like the consistency. I like the oatmeal thicker and less watery so I add just enough to cover the oatmeal. Let steep for about 2-3 minutes then ingredients until blended.
Serves 1. Aprrox Fiber: 13g Whole grains: 48g Protein: 12g Adding 1tsp peanut or almond butter will increase dietary fat by about 5gm and add 2gm protein and less than 1gm fiber.
If you are in a crunch for time these will provide energy and nutrients to start off your day:
22 Day Nutrition Vegan Energy Bar
Pure Organic Bar
Pre Made Pouch Granola: Go Raw Organic Granola, Purely Elizabeth Granola, Natures Path Organic Granola
Whole Fruits such as an apple or bannana
Next Blog I will have some heart healthy lunch and snack ideas!