American Heart Month - Heart Healthy Tips (part 2)

We have been celebrating LOVE for your HEART all month long! If you missed last Friday's Heart Health Tips, click here. Today we are wrapping up the month by offering two more heart healthy tips.

1. Scratch the Fat!-Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Eating trans fats increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke. It’s also associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Trans fats can be found in most fried foods, certain baked goods, and packaged foods. Look at the label for ‘partially hydrogenated oils' – aka- TRANS FAT. Aim to only purchase foods with ZERO trans-fat and when you do eat foods with this bad fat, try to do so in small amounts.

2. Keep if colorful! Eat More fruits and veggies – at least 5 cups per day (EXAMPLES: 1 small apple = 1, 1 cup strawberries = 1, 1 cup lettuce greens, ½ cup cucumbers, ½ cup carrots, 1 cup broccoli). They are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber and low in fat and calories. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help you control your weight and your blood pressure. Fruits and veggies are a wonderful source of antioxidants which can help protect your entire body from the oxidation and the development of the atherosclerotic plaque. Most fruits and vegetables like strawberries or broccoli have a NuVal® of 100!

Healthy Snack Ideas:
• ½ CUP Greek yogurt, 2 table spoons unsalted chopped walnuts, ½ apple diced This snack is a great source of protein, omega-3 fats, antioxidants, fiber, low sodium and low-fat and cholesterol.

• Crunch on fresh veggies (celery, broccoli, carrots) or fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries).

• Whole wheat bagel half with peanut butter spread and topped with banana and strawberry slices.

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