February is American Heart Month! I like to keep my heart in great shape by regular exercise at my local YMCA and by eating healthy foods. Take this chance to remind yourself what heart healthy foods you can easily include in your diet.
- Fruits and vegetables are top choices. Include 3 servings of fruit and 4 or more servings of vegetables daily. Include bright colored items such as orange carrots and squash, dark green kale or spinach, pink grapefruit, and red/black/or blue berries.
- Beans are big. Chickpeas, chili beans, navy beans, black beans, and lentils are powerhouses of lean protein, minerals and fiber. Add them to soups or salads, or try this tasty white bean dip.
- Go whole grain. Oats, wheat and rye berries, brown and wild rice, quinoa and millet are great choices. Fiber in whole grains is thought to help lower cholesterol and decrease your risk for heart disease. Try this easy Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad for a change of pace.
- Easy on the sweets. Limit high calorie foods such as desserts, sweetened drinks, snack foods, and processed meats. These contain added sugar, saturated and trans fats, and high amounts of sodium that do not contribute to heart health.
- Calories matter. Heart health is linked to a healthy weight. Balance your food intake with activity in order to reach and maintain a healthy weight.
Try this delicious recipe for a heart-healthy, palate-pleasing dinner!
Grilled Salmon with Mango Lime Cream
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper (white preferred)
4 salmon fillets (about 4 oz. each), rinsed and patted dry
1/3 cup chopped mango, 1 Tbsp. juice reserved
¼ cup fat-free sour cream
½ tsp. grated lime zest
1 tsp. fresh lime juice
Lightly spray grill rack with cooking spray. Preheat the grill on medium high. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over one side of the salmon. Using your fingertips, gentle press so they adhere to the fish.
Grill with the seasoned side down for 5 minutes. Turn over. Grill for 2-3 more minutes or to desired doneness. Meanwhile in a small bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients. Serve at room temperature or cover and refrigerate until serving time. Spoon over fish and enjoy!
-Judi Sowl, RD