Heart healthy cooking tips would include cutting back on fat, cholesterol and sodium. There are many tips for heart healthy cooking that can be integrated into your lifestyle gradually over a period of time or—in some cases—if the medical need arises, perhaps post cardiac episode, it can be quickly and easily integrated into your everyday lifestyle as part of your heart healthy cooking regime.
1. Choose heart healthy carbohydrates. Replace breads with 100% whole wheat grains and add fiber in the form of vegetables. Cook with legumes like lentils and beans at least three times a week.
2. Cut down on sugar. Use less sugar while starting a heart healthy cooking schedule. Replace daily snacks, sodas or desserts with sweetener substitutes. This will lower the calorie and carbohydrate intake. There are many processed juices and foods that are high in corn syrup and sugars. Eat natural fruits and nuts for healthy snacks.
3. Cut back on using fat. Take the skin off of poultry before eating it. Select lean cuts of beef or pork. Be sure to cut off the fat before serving, the oils should drain away from the meat during the cooking process.
4. Heart healthy cooking with fat substitutes. Broil, steam or bake seafood high in omega oils. Many studies by the American Heart Association shows that omega 3 fatty oils are beneficial to the heart. Substitute olive oil and healthy oils for cooking and making salad dressings.
5. Cut back on the use of sodium. If you buy canned soups and processed foods always check the sodium content per serving. Spend the time to only buy low sodium or sodium-free products. You can enhance the flavor with heart healthier substitutes like Mrs. Dash seasoning.
6. Use sodium substitutes as an important part of your healthy cooking plan. Use natural seasonings with fresh or dried herbs, natural condiments and spices. Peppers, onions and garlic can be flavorful substitutes, as well as lemon, lime and citrus zest and juices.
7. Throw away all unhealthy foods and snacks. Keep your home a heart healthy zone by keeping only healthy foods, snacks and drinks in your pantry and refrigerator.
8. Increase your use of foods that are high in anti-oxidants. Green, black and oolong tea arefilled with heart-healthy and cancer fighting anti-oxidants. Many types of fruits and berries should be incorporated in your diet. Get in the habit of eating and drinking high anti-oxidant foods for a healthier, longer life.
9. Have healthy snacks available throughout the day. Avoid junk food temptations when you are at work or out shopping or doing errands. Have small bags of baby carrots, dried apples and walnuts. Prepare containers of raisins, nuts and maple granola mix accessible around the house. A sugar-free fruit yogurt, banana or healthy energy bar can get you past an afternoon slump.
10. Cut back on eating out. Heart healthy cooking at home puts you in control completely. Choose foods that are fresh, unprocessed and high in fibers, protein and anti-oxidants. Make a weekly meal schedule or bulletin board with an idea area for family members to participate in. Create your own recipes that appeal to you and your family. This comes naturally to some that love to cook; it is fun to get in the habit of cooking healthy meals.
Once you start feeling the health benefits of being in charge of your diet and lifestyle it will be easy to continue on this path of vibrancy and well-being.