By selecting whole grains you consume more nutrient dense foods that provide higher fiber content . . . all of which equals a heart healthy choice. Whole grain products contain all layers of the whole grain – the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. When it comes to selecting whole grains, you have many more options than just being sure to grab 100% whole wheat bread when grocery shopping. There are many whole grain varieties available to you.
Oats almost never having the bran or germ removed during processing. This means when you read a food label and see oats or oat flour listed as an ingredient, it’s safe to know this is a whole grain ingredient. Oatmeal has been linked to lower cholesterol levels.
Continue reading ‘Heart Health: Are you selecting whole grains?’ »
You’ve heard or read over and over that you have to eat right and exercise to keep your heart healthy. Well, not only do unhealthy habits impact your heart they also affect your brain.
French researchers studied 5,123 men and women over a 17-year period of time. Participants with the greatest number of unhealthy behaviors were three times more likely to have poor thinking abilities and twice as likely to have memory problems compared to those living healthier lifestyles.
There are four lifestyle factors associated with negative health effects:
Continue reading ‘A Healthy Heart Equals a Healthy Mind’ »
The holidays are here again, so let’s review some tips so you stick with your diet to lower cholesterol levels AND still enjoy a satisfying Thanksgiving meal.
Tip #1: Pass the Gravy
Traditional gravy is a high fat source. To make your gravy a little healthy, use a spoon to remove fat from meat and poultry dishes prior to mixing up your gravy. Another option to remove the fat is to freeze the pan drippings and then remove them before making gravy. Next, don’t go overboard. Add a little gravy for flavoring and pass it on.
Tip #2: Trim the Turkey
Limit your turkey to about 4 ounces. This would be right around the size or a deck of cards. Select white turkey meat without the skin to cut back on unnecessary fat calories.
Tip #3: Stuff the stuffing right
Boost your veggie intake by sautéing a lot of veggies into your stuffing. Some veggies may include finely diced celery, carrots, and onions.
Continue reading ‘7 Tips to Lower Cholesterol & Still Enjoy Thanksgiving’ »
Christmas is just around the corner which may mean a road trip for you. Here are a few tips on how to make heart healthy choices when on the road this holiday.
1. Fast Food Restaurants
Road trips frequently mean stops for fast food. Fortunately you can find nutritious options at several fast food restaurants if you order wisely. Select fast food places like Subway or Quiznos for sandwiches made on whole grain bread with lean meat and plenty of veggies. Salads are an option at many fast food restaurants, but avoid salads covered with tortilla chips, deep fried meat, and covered in dressing.
2. Convenience Stores
Continue reading ‘Healthy Holidays – How to Make Heart Healthy Choices When Traveling’ »
Your children will follow your example. If you eat fruits and vegetables, they will likely eat fruits and vegetables. If you have soda for breakfast, they will likely have soda for breakfast. Children learn from the example you set.
Parents are role models for their children and have the greatest influence over their children’s lives. Children watch their parents to learn the appropriate behavior to imitate. This goes from basic manners to attitudes towards food. (FYI – Watch what you say about a food in front of your kids! Just because you may not care for broccoli, doesn’t mean they won’t learn to love it.)
Continue reading ‘Heart Healthy Family – Be a good role model.’ »
The 4th of July is just around the corner, which for many of us means BBQ time!
Here are some healthy barbeque ideas so you avoid sabotaging your heart healthy diet:
1. Talk more than you chew.
You don’t have to have a loaded plate to enjoy yourself. Take the time to catch up with a friend. Enjoy watching the kids play. When it’s meal time let others serve themselves first. Select a smaller plate and fill it with the healthiest options limiting foods slathered in mayo, fried, and breaded. Sit down to enjoy the food versus mindlessly eating while standing around the buffet table.
2. Sip smart.
Continue reading ‘How to Have a Heart Healthy 4th of July’ »
A subscriber to The Heart of Health submitted the following question.
Question: “My problem is that I don’t have recipes for nutritional meals. Exercising is hard for me as I am disabled. I have a thirteen inch rod fused to my spine for 34 years now. What can I do?”
Answer: Fortunately the internet provides access to a wealth of recipes that are heart healthy. Here are some site recommendations you may want to review.
Due to your disability I recommend you consult a physical therapist to learn activities and exercises you can safely complete.
All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD
How to Make Heart Healthy Changes into Lifelong Habits
Here are some 5 tips to eat right on a budget:
1. Skip the meat!
Eat vegetarian meals more often. Select beans, peanut butter, and eggs as your protein source. This will cause less of a drain on your pocketbook and a great choice to promote heart health!
2. Reduce portion sizes.
Continue reading ‘Eating Heart Healthy on a Budget’ »
One major holiday down, one to go! So, how did you do sticking with your plan to be heart healthy and lose weight? Not so good, well don’t worry it’s not too late to redeem yourself.
Most people gain an average of 1 pound every holiday season. Now, what’s one pound? Doesn’t seem like that big of an issue, but the problem is most do not lose this extra weight. The pounds simply continue to add up year after year. It may take several years before you look at yourself and wonder “what happened?”
To prevent this (or reverse past events!), you must take steps to counteract all the extra calories that go along with the holidays. How? Increase your physical activity these next 4-6 weeks. Extra walks, longer workouts, increased intensity levels.
Adding an extra 120 minutes of activity each week (that’s less than 20 additional minutes/day), will burn an extra ~600 calories/week. That’s an extra 3600 calories burned over six weeks to compensate for the pecan pie, cookies, and alcohol. Of course, 3600 calories only goes so far. You must make wise decisions with the holiday meals, so you’re not consuming 3000-5000 calories in one day
The holidays can be a big hurdle in a weight loss and heart health plan. Holidays don’t mean you can’t enjoy the good food and desserts, but do so wisely!
Be sure to sign up for The Heart of Health and receive the FREE report Stop Wasting Money – Take Control of Your Health today at http://www.hearthealthmadeeasy.com.
All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD
Okay, in the previous two posts, we’ve covered how much physical activity is needed and I mentioned different intensities requiring different time commitments.
A simple measure of your workout intensity is the talk test. If you can carry on a conversation while taking a breath every 3-4 words, you’re probably at a moderate intensity level. If you are working out hard enough that you can only say a few words and in order to say more you have to stop to catch your breath, you’ve most likely hit a vigorous activity level.
What physical activity benefits can you expect to see by being more active this year? Here are a few:
- Improved fitness and bone health.
- Decreased coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and colon and breast cancer.
- Less depression.
- Fewer falls and better cognitive ability for older adults.
- Better pain management, function, and quality of life if you suffer from arthritis.
All right, now don’t just read this without taking action. Look at the upcoming week. Where can you add a walk or extra trip to the gym to boost your activity level closer to the desired 2 ½ hours per week?
There are 1440 minutes each day. Only 30 of them need to be active!
February is American Heart Month. In recognition of American Heart Month you can access Heart Health Made Easy at a 25% savings. Learn more about this take action guide to lower cholesterol and blood pressure at http://www.hearthealthmadeeasy.com.
All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD