I’m sure we all know that what we feed our families on a daily basis affects their health. Since the family eats at home the majority of the time compared to eating at restaurants, we all need to be extra conscious of what we serve on the table. At our house, Art and I both have high blood pressure and Art has borderline high cholesterol, so I try to be on the lookout for ways to lighten up meals.
Making Meals Healthier for the Heart
* Less Fat- You can cut down on the fat through cooking methods like boiling, broiling, steaming, roasting, baking, grilling and microwaving food instead the usual frying. If you need to fry, use non-stick pans and a cooking spray instead of frying oil. Fats can really add flavor to the food, so what do you do if it is lessened? Opt for using seasonings and spices instead. Low sodium vegetable broth is great for steamed vegetables and broiled fish. Lemon pepper is great for chicken seasoning. Onion and garlic can boost the flavor of meat and vegetables.
* Lean Cuts- You cannot avoid meat, pork and poultry due to its protein but you can keep the cholesterol down by choosing leaner cuts. With beef, choose cuts like round, flank, sirloin, tenderloin, rib, chunk, rump roast, T-bone, porterhouse and cubed. In poultry, white breast meat is low in fat. In pork, the leaner types are pork loin, center loin chops, Canadian bacon and ham.
* Low Dairy Fat- Dairy should be part of your meals because of the calcium. However, dairy can be pretty fatty. Instead of drinking full-cream milk, opt for fat-free skim milk or low-fat buttermilk. For yogurts, buy the low fat or fat-free ones. For cheese, parmesan and cottage cheese are lower in fat than some others.
* Find Substitutes- Fatty food is definitely tastier but you can still make your food delicious by using substitutes. For instance, instead of using regular salad dressings, you can go for low-fat mayonnaise and low-fat salad dressing. Use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for cooking.
*Low Sodium – Lower sodium content is another important component of healthy heart cooking. Many of the suggestions offered in the less fat section also apply here. In addition, make sure to check the ingredients on the seasoning blends you buy as many of them contain added salt.
By knowing what to cook for your family, you can help protect them from heart disease . In addition, if they learn to eat healthy at home, it will be easier to continue a healthy lifestyle from then on.