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|March 19-25, 2009
• Potato possibilities
Spud Bros. turns French fries into a smorgasbord of flavor
by Clay Fong
• Painter explores the visual meaning of terrior
Foods that do a heart good
by Sharon Thompson
We’re tempted by high-calorie foods, but they should always be an occasional treat, not everyday fare. Eating too many foods high in fat and sodium can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for women and men in the United States.
The American Heart Association says a heart-healthy diet is rich in vegetables and fruits, with whole grains, high-fiber foods, lean meats and poultry, fish at least twice a week, and fat-free or 1 percent fat dairy products.
“Most of us want to keep our hearts healthy,” registered dietitian Fran Williams said. “But the question remains, how do we do that?”
Williams said that with all the information out there, it can be difficult to be sure we are doing the right thing for our hearts. She gives us a guide by listing her top 10 heart-healthy super foods, and why they should play a major role in our diets.
—Fish, especially those high in omega-3 fatty acids. Those include salmon, tuna and sardines. “Your heart loves omega-3s. These healthy fats reduce incidents of cardiovascular disease, help lower blood pressure, triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol, and increase HDL (good) cholesterol.”
—Beans — black, white, red, kidney — are loaded with soluble fiber, which lowers LDL cholesterol. Aim for 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber a day (you need 25 to 30 grams of total fiber a day).
—Soybeans. “I especially like edamames, young, immature soybeans, steamed in their pods,” Williams said.
—Oats are another great source for soluble fiber.
—Skim milk and yogurt are low in fat and high in calcium. “We all know that we need calcium for our bones, but did you know that calcium helps with keeping our hearts beating regularly?” she said.
—Berries — blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, lingonberries, raspberries — are loaded with phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and fiber. “And, let’s throw in a pomegranate, too,” Williams said. “Think color.”
—Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids. “They also are high in calories, so stop at a small handful,” she said.
—Flaxseed is high in omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber. It is best to grind your flaxseed and keep it in the refrigerator or freezer.
—Brussels sprouts are high in soluble fiber.
—Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fat, but it’s still fat, so go easy.
Honey-soy broiled salmon
1 scallion, minced
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 pound center-cut salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 4 portions
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
Whisk scallion, soy sauce, vinegar, honey and ginger in a medium bowl until the honey is dissolved. Place salmon in a sealable plastic bag, add 3 tablespoons marinade and refrigerate. Let marinate 15 minutes. Reserve remaining marinade.
Preheat broiler. Line small baking pan with foil, and coat with cooking spray.
Transfer salmon to pan, skinned-side down. (Discard marinade.) Broil salmon 4 to 6 inches from heat source until cooked through, 6 to 10 minutes. Drizzle with reserved marinade and garnish with sesame seeds. Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 234 calories, 13 g. fat, 67 mg. cholesterol, 6 g. carbohydrates, 23 g. protein, 0 g. fiber, 335 mg. sodium.
Edamame and bean salad
2 cups shelled edamame
2 green onions
16-ounce can wax beans
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot fitted with a steamer basket, bring 1 inch water to boil. Add edamame, cover and steam until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again. Trim green onions, then thinly slice on the diagonal, including tender green tops.
In a large bowl, combine steamed edamame and wax beans, green onions, tomatoes and basil. Toss to mix evenly.
In a small bowl, combine vinegar, lime juice, honey and mustard. Whisk in olive oil. Add dressing to vegetables, and toss to coat.
Season with salt and pepper. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 130 calories, 5 g. fat, 0 mg. cholesterol, 12 g. carbohydrates, 196 mg. sodium, 4 g. fiber, 9 g. protein.
Adapted from The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook
Making diet and lifestyle changes will have long-term benefits on your health and your heart. These recommendations are from the American Heart Association.
Regular physical activity can help maintain your weight, keep off weight that you lose and help you reach physical and cardiovascular fitness. It’s also important to eat a variety of nutritious foods from all the food groups. To get the nutrients you need, choose vegetables, fruits, whole-grain products, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products most often.
As you make daily food choices, base your eating pattern on these recommendations:
—Choose lean meats and poultry without skin, and prepare them without added saturated and trans fats.
—Select fat-free, 1 percent fat and low-fat dairy products.
—Cut back on foods with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet.
—Cut back on foods high in dietary cholesterol. Aim to eat less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol each day.
—Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars.
—Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt. Aim to eat less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day.
—If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. That means one drink a day if you’re a woman and two if you’re a man.
—Follow the American Heart Association recommendations when you eat out, and keep an eye on your portion sizes.
—Don’t smoke tobacco — and stay away from tobacco smoke.
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