If you aren’t already, it’s time for you and your family to start enjoying a heart-healthy diet! This diet may have earned a reputation as something of a bland way to eat, but really some of the most flavorful and appetizing choices on the menu can also be the most heart-healthy. We partner with the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation and the Together Counts ™ program to encourage everyone to embrace the rich variety of flavors and foods that can make treating your heart well the pleasure it was meant to be while you instill healthy eating habits in your kids. From vibrant fruits and vegetables to savory lean meats and proteins to nutty whole grains, American Heart Month is the perfect time to celebrate the good things in life that can make a world of delicious difference for your family’s health.
Keep foods like these on hand at home for a quick healthy bite or head to your favorite family restaurants to follow the basic recommendations for a healthy diet from the American Heart Association with tempting choices on which everyone in the family can agree.
- Fruits and vegetables – These fiber and nutrient-rich ingredients have been shown to have a positive impact on not only heart health but also cancer risk, weight management and more. Fruit in oatmeal and parfaits, salads, veggies in omelets, on sandwiches and burgers and veggie sides are all good options. You can even try a vegetarian meal next time you’re dining out.
- Whole grains – With more fiber, vitamins and minerals than their refined counterparts, whole grains have long been known to benefit your overall cardiovascular health, helping reduce cholesterol levels and your risk of heart disease. Look for whole wheat buns, whole grains like quinoa added to salads and more!Low-fat dairy products (or unsweetened dairy-free alternatives like almond milk and soy milk) give you the essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D & calcium, without the negative impact of extra saturated fat and cholesterol.
- Poultry, fish, legumes, etc. – These choices serve up the lean protein your muscles need and can make a meal to crave. Chicken, turkey, fish, beans and tofu are easy to find on restaurant menus (including the kids’ menu) in a variety of tender and tempting choices. When you’re opting for red meat, try lean beef marked as choice or select grade.
- Nuts – These crunchy little toppers are a whole lot of heart-healthy goodness all packed into one tasty package. Nuts, depending on the variety, include omega 3s, protein, fiber, potassium and more nutrients shown to help with heart health. Look for them in oatmeal, salads and plenty of entrées and sides.
Treat your family well with tasty, heart-healthy choices at home and eating out at restaurants. Don’t forget to look for the Sodium Savvy menu items featured on HealthyDiningFinder.com that can help you limit your family’s sodium intake at restaurants as recommended by the American Heart Association.
How do you boost your family’s heart-health with these kinds of delicious foods?
Healthy Dining provides Americans with the digital tools and resources necessary to find the best restaurant choices for their dietary goals and healthy lifestyles. Healthy Dining’s signature website, HealthyDiningFinder.com, enables millions of nutrition-conscious restaurant diners, as well as those dealing with diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and other nutrition-related conditions, to easily find dietitian-recommended Healthy Dining and Kids LiveWell choices served at more than 60,000 restaurant locations. For more information please visit www.HealthyDiningFinder.com.