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Crow Wing Energized: Eating heart healthy could help you live longer

A heart healthy lifestyle can help those with existing conditions and just generally help others looking to retain their good health into the future.

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Eating healthy will help your heart and may also help you live longer. Photo illustration by Metro Newspaper Service

Making lifestyle changes can help you control a heart condition or reduce your risk of developing one. Even small steps can make a big difference. Eating healthy will help your heart and may also help you live longer.

Heart healthy eating guides

Eat less saturated and trans fat.

These are the “bad” fats in foods that increase LDL (bad) cholesterol. Trans fats also lower HDL (healthy) cholesterol.

Your goal is to eat no more than 10-15 grams of saturated fats a day. Eat less cheese. Choose lean meats. Stay away from foods that have hydrogenated oil in them.

Include a small amount of good fats.

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Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats such as omega-3 fatty acids are “good” fats. They lower triglycerides and help raise HDL cholesterol levels. They are found in salmon, trout, tuna, flaxseeds, nuts, peanut butter, canola oil and olive oil.

Eat less sodium.

This can help lower blood pressure and/or keep blood pressure from rising. It also reduces fluid retention. Eat less than 2300 mg of sodium per day. Research shows that less than 1,500 mg is better. Eat less canned or dry soups, processed foods and meals away from home.

Eat more fiber.

Fiber can help reduce LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugars. Foods high in fiber include whole fruits, vegetables, and beans. Breads, pasta, crackers and cereals made from whole grains are also high in fiber. Your goal is 20-35 grams per day.

Eat less sugar and processed carbohydrates.

This can help decrease triglycerides, keep HDL cholesterol levels high and help with weight loss. Limit regular soft drinks, juices, cookies, candy, low-fiber crackers and snack foods. Choose fresh fruits, sugar-free drinks, nuts, and high-fiber crackers and cereals.

Eat fewer calories.

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The best way to lose weight is to eat smaller portions and less sugar and fats. Weight loss can help lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while it raises HDL cholesterol.

Eat five or more fruits and vegetables every day.

These foods are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals and low in fat, sodium and calories.

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Heart disease symptoms can be different in men and women, and women face a higher risk of certain types of heart disease. Talk to your doctor about your personal risk factors and how often you should check your heart health.

Heart Healthy Pizza & Soup – A Virtual Cooking Demonstration

Date: Jan. 26

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Time: 6-7pm

Register online: EssentiaHealth.Org/HeartHealthyCooking

Super Bowl Sunday is America’s second largest day for food consumption, surpassed only by Thanksgiving.

Pizza, chicken wings, pretzels, potato chips and dips are some of the top selling foods. Even with smaller gatherings, these foods will be bought/ordered more so than ever this year. Large pizza chains have forecasted that their Super Bowl Sunday sales will be five times greater than that of an average Sunday. These popular convenience foods are packed with saturated fat and over the top in sodium. Fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains are often missing from Super Bowl feeds.

This cooking demonstration will feature how to make Heart Healthy Pizzas and a Pizza Soup to bring America’s favorite food to your winter food fare whether for Super Bowl Sunday or any day.

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Recipes that will be shared after the demonstration include:

  • Italian Pizza,

  • Margarita Pizza,

  • Italian Sausage made with ground turkey,

  • Pizza Sauce,

  • Pizza Pasta Soup,

  • Lower Sodium Potato Chips,

  • Hummus Dip,

  • Lower Sodium Nuts,

  • Fruit Tray.

If you or a loved one is living with heart failure, or you are interested in learning more about living a heart healthy lifestyle, please join us. Register for this free virtual event at http://www.EssentiaHealth.Org/HeartHealthyCooking .

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