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Eat Your Way to a Better Heart This Winter
The temperature has dropped and the blankets have come out. For many, the winter is a time of snuggling, staying indoors, and sipping on a cup of hot chocolate. But let’s not forget all the heavy, warm, delicious dinners that we so love to eat, albeit with a bit of guilt. Eating comfort food in the winter is as inevitable as the rolling of the tides, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t help your heart while you indulge. Look at some of our heart healthy recipes or read on to learn what you can do this winter.
Cook your movie-night popcorn with olive oil
Let this winter be the year that you finally ditch the butter-heavy microwave popcorn for the homemade fix with a healthy twist. The trick here is find a special olive oil, one that is enjoyable for dipping vegetables and bread in as well. Find one that has less bitterness to the palette and then use it to cook the kernels on the stovetop. When done, add a little more oil along with a little salt and seasoning.
Get your chocolate fix with cocoa instead of a chocolate bar
Except for a very select few, chocolate is a beloved sweet treat, either on its own or as a topping. But the fats and sugar that go into making a chocolate bar can make your heart groan and waistline bulge. Cocoa powder has less fat and a higher concentration of antioxidants. Mix it into your favorite treat for a subtler, but equally delicious, dessert.
Throw Away the Deep Fryer
There’s no easy way to deny it: Deep-fried food is crispy and delicious. It also has the potential to damage your heart and inflame your blood vessels. People have known this for years, but have been willing to make the sacrifice to please the taste buds. The next time you crave some crunchy-fried goodness, try this alternative. Make a light batter (try a yogurt-based batter!) or coat your meat or veggies with bread crumbs. Then choose a heart healthy oil spray such as olive or canola oil. Once the food is sprayed with oil, fry it up in a skillet or give it a good bake. There are plenty of delicious recipes available that will make you forget a fryer ever existed.
Satisfy the Need for Sweet with Something Unique
In a season where cranberry jelly and maple glaze rule, sugar intake can rise without realizing where it’s coming from. Instead, consider making a homemade citrus cranberry relish or a dried fruit mixture. The relish will be a tangy and refreshing addition to your favorite turkey dish, while stuffing your pork with spices and dried apples, apricots, or other fruits will give the meat a needed injection of flavor. In both cases, great flavor will be acquired without adding too much sugar, one of the leading causes of heart problems in the world. But don’t stop here, there are plenty of unique flavor profiles that can be created with fruit, so experiment and have fun.
Sneak in Vegetables Everywhere
It’s no secret that vegetables are good for you. They provide a variety of vitamins, minerals, and fiber to each person’s diet and are much more beneficial than vitamins in pill form. Meanwhile, our love of meat in the United States is pervasive, despite its cost and high calories, cholesterol and fats. At each meal, shave a quarter of your normal serving of meat off and replace it with your favorite vegetables. Then, start throwing in vegetables into your wraps and sandwiches. The subtle increase of nature’s healthiest food-type will reduce caloric intake and improve your cumulative levels of nutrients.
Use Buttermilk Instead of Cream for Mashed Potatoes
There may not be a side-dish more American than creamy mashed potatoes. But if you’re worried about your heart, those days of using butter, heavy cream, and even cream cheese must come to an end. Buttermilk contains significantly less amounts of fat than cream. The next time making mashed potatoes, which still should be not very frequently, blend in buttermilk with garlic, white pepper, chives, and dashes of nutmeg, rosemary, salt, and chili powder.
We’ll Treat Your Heart Well
At Preventive Cardiology of New York, each patient is treated individually based on their specific needs and health profile. We make sure that all results are accurate and reliable while staying up to date on the latest research in cardiology. Learn more about our heart services or call today at (646) 661-2427.