Anita Shaffer, R.D.
February is American Heart Month-an annual celebration that urges Americans to recognize the nationwide problem of heart and blood vessel diseases. It’s a perfect time to increase your knowledge about prevention. Choosing healthy foods can help you reduce risk for heart disease and its complications. While all foods can fit into a balanced diet, it’s important to eat MORE heart healthy foods, including:
Fruits and Vegetables. On-trend and full of fabulous flavor, most people don’t get enough of these dietary essentials which can supply fiber, potassium, and vitamins A and C. Work toward a goal of consuming 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables per day by eating some of these foods with every meal or snack. Fresh, frozen, canned, and dried fruits and veggies and 100% juices all “count.” Choose lots of colors- dark green and red/orange vegetables are particularly good for your heart.
Whole Grains. Many supply sources of iron, magnesium, selenium, B vitamins, and fiber. Eating more whole grains may reduce the risk of heart disease and is associated with a lower body weight. Choose more whole grain breads, pasta, pancakes, waffles, and cereals. Enjoy oats, brown rice or wild rice, barley, quinoa, wheat berries, and bulgur wheat.
A Variety of Proteins. Choose lean meat and poultry. Eat fish twice a week- salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, and trout contain oils that benefit your heart. Eat more plant-based proteins such as legumes (dried beans and peas), tofu, as well as nuts and seeds, which contain heart healthy fats in addition to protein.
Dairy Products. Besides supplying calcium and vitamin D essential for bone health, eating dairy products is associated with reduced risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure in adults. Choose fat free or skim milk and low fat yogurt and cheeses.
Herbs and Spices. Seasoning food with herbs and spices adds great taste without increasing fat or sodium. Use cloves, cinnamon, oregano, turmeric, thyme, rosemary, cumin, curry powder, black pepper, ginger, chili powder, paprika, ginger, and garlic powder to season food and boost your intake of antioxidants linked to reduced risk of heart disease.
Better-For-You Fats. Liquid oils are best for your heart, especially those high in monounsaturated fats (such as canola and olive oil) and polyunsaturated fats (such as soybean, corn, and safflower oils). Use these for sautéing, grilling, broiling and making sauces and dressings. Choose spreads with zero grams of trans fat per serving. All fats are high in calories so use them sparingly.
In the marketplace, Campbell offers over 200 heart healthy products. Visit our brand sites to learn more about our products. Check out our collection of heart healthy recipes created by Campbell chefs and nutritionists.
Eat well and enjoy more heart healthy foods!
Anita has over 25 years of experience as a Registered Dietitian. She received her Bachelor of Nutrition Science degree from Drexel University and completed her clinical dietetics training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. Her diverse professional experience in the food service industry includes clinical nutrition practice and management, nutrition education program development, food services systems management, and recipe and menu development for healthcare and school food service operations. At Campbell, Anita is the Senior Nutritionist supporting the North American Food Service Division. She collaborates with the Campbell foodservice team to develop and promote innovative products and menu solutions that provide balanced nutrition for food service operators in the healthcare, school, and restaurant settings.