Tuesday, August 21, 2012

INSIDE SCOOP: Heart Healthy & Tasty Too…

When it comes to healthy foods, there’s a tendency to think that the more bland the dish, the better it is for you.

Mushy green peas! ... yum...

But eating foods lower in sugar, salt and fat content does not mean a ban on flavor.  You can decrease risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes and high -cholesterol and high blood pressure, by choosing leaner, whole-foods options -  without punishing your palate.


If you’re crazy about salmon, you’re already onto something good. A nice piece of grilled salmon is rich in the good fats: Omega-3 fatty acids.

You don’t need a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down.  But the adage does have a point: sometimes it’s easier to choose fiber-rich foods when it’s mixed in and out of sight.  Ground flaxseed, is loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids and phytoestrogens that help lower cholesterol.  Plus, it’s virtually undetectable in yogurt parfaits, cereal, and these cookies! Banana-Peanut-Butter Flaxeed? Yes, please!

The same goes for carrots.  These are among  the colorful fruits and veggies prized for carotenoids: heart- protective anti-oxidants. Baby carrots are a great snack on the go, but you might also try mixing them into your favorite spaghetti sauce of muffin batter.

Sundried tomatoes brought life and color to my otherwise boring salad today.  That's one way to add flavor but also Vitamin C and potassium to your meal.

Papaya salsa!

It’s no secret that fruits are good for you.  Eat an apple to get over the post-lunch hump.  Keep variety by switching the rotation.  Papaya is one fruit I don’t eat often. You can enjoy it sliced for breakfast or diced for this simple salsa idea: Mix papaya, pineapple, scallions, garlic, fresh lime juice, salt and black pepper.

And for dessert?

It’s amazing how the powers that be reward you for sticking to a healthier lifestyle – and not diets, which for me, at least, have been flashes in the pan, quickly abandoned because they set impossible standards to be achieved in a fraction of time, and ultimately yield no results.  Getting off my little soapbox now…

Back to the matter at hand, delicious treats! Bet you didn’t think truffles would be on this list of healthy foods!  But it is – a truffle a day helps lower blood pressure, but the trick here, as with all chocolate treats is to go dark. Opt for dark chocolate with 70 % or higher cocoa content.

Last but not least, make time for tea! Soothing and rich in antioxidants as well as flavor.

Cheers! My next cup of rooibos tea is to you and to continued health!


Click for the entire list of heart-healthy foods.  Enjoy!

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