February is Heart Health Month. As a dietitian I want to challenge everyone to focus on planning heart healthy meals. What does that look like? Heart healthy does not necessarily mean avoiding fat but you want to limit the unhealthy fats (trans fats, saturated fats) and utilize the healthier fats such as Olive, Canola and fish oils. Components of a heart healthy meal should include:
- Lean protein such as fish, loin cuts of meat, or beans
- Vegetables such as carrots, green beans, tomatoes, asparagus, brussel sprouts, and so many others (don’t be afraid to experiment!)
- Whole grain such as brown rice, quinoa, whole grain pasta
- Fruits for dessert such as berries, apples, oranges etc.
- Low fat dairy such as a glass of skim milk or low-fat yogurt
Here are a few of my favorite ideas:
- Baked Talapia with Lemon; brown rice; roasted broccoli (drizzle with olive oil and garlic); berries and a glass of skim milk
- White Beans & Penne Pasta (whole grain—see recipe from “Lickety-Split Meals” great cookbook from Zonya Foco RD, LD); tossed salad with ¼ cup dried cherries; and low-fat yogurt
- Pork tenderloin; green beans; roasted sweet potatoes (or mashed this can take the place of a whole grain); apple slices and low-fat frozen yogurt
Want a Heart Healthy Challenge this month? Check out our web-site and our “February Health Calendar”.
What’s your heart healthy meal look like?