Your Heart Healthy Month
Since 1963 the federal government has issued a proclamation designating February as American Heart Month. The significance of this longstanding tradition is not without merit. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.
The risk of heart disease and stroke may worsen in the presence of chronic inflammation. The good news is that inflammation might be lessened in part through good dietary choices.
Harris Teeter® is devoting its February yourwellness e-guide to American Heart Month. It is our hope that the information provided here will help educate you about how to keep your heart healthy. The pages of this guide include heart disease prevention strategies, suggested heart healthy food choices, important tips on adding fruits and vegetables to your diet as well as delicious heart healthy recipes.
To ensure the quality of the information provided in our e-guide, Harris Teeter has teamed up with a board certified physician with expertise in integrative health and a certified nutritionist. Russell H. Greenfield, M.D. and Beth Avery, R.D. are committed to offering Harris Teeter shoppers helpful information on healthy living options that is easy to understand and use.
Heart Healthy Food Choices
Prevention of Heart Disease: Important Strategies
- Quit smoking: Be ready, have support, learn new behaviors and talk to your doctor about helpful aids and the proper way to use them.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Walking is an easy activity most people can manage. (Speak with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.)
- Maintain a healthy weight and lessen body fat: Measuring your waistline is a quick way to evaluate your progress. Suggested waist circumference: Women, less than 36”; Men, less than 40”.
Measuring Your Waistline
- Lift shirt and loosen belt/pants.
- Position tape midway between the top of your hip bone and bottom of your rib cage.
- When taking measurement, abdomen should be relaxed and you should be breathing out.
Other Helpful Tips
- Know your stats: Your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are important numbers to know. Ask at your next doctor’s appointment if your stats are within a healthy range.
- Manage stress appropriately: Excercise, laughter, and breathing excercises are examples to choose from.
- Follow a heart healthy diet.
A Heart Healthy Diet Includes:
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids, especially Fish
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Almonds and Walnuts
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Incorporating the suggested items into your diet is easier than you think. We have put together a few suggestions to get you started.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Heart Disease Prevention
By now most of you have probably heard of omega-3 fatty acids, but what exactly are they and why are they so vital to our health?
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids, which means that they are vital to human health but cannot be made by the body. Therefore we must obtain them from the foods we eat! Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish and certain nut and plant oils.
Research indicates that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help prevent certain chronic diseases such as heart disease. Therefore, diets high in omega-3’s are often heart healthy.
The Mediterranean-style diet has been shown to offer significant health benefits and is considered to have an ample amount of omega-3 fatty acids. Many studies have shown that people who follow this diet are less likely to develop heart disease. The Mediterranean diet is low in saturated fat like red meat and whole fat dairy products, and emphasizes whole grains and fish as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, olive oil and garlic.
Oily fish, such as salmon, rainbow trout, sardines, pacific oysters, arctic char, black cod and herring are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Research has established a link between eating fish and a lowered risk of death from coronary heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends that you eat at least two servings of fish each week. One serving equals about 3 ounces of cooked fish, or a serving about the size of a checkbook. Grill, bake or poach fish. Avoid fried fish and don’t add cream sauces.
- Additional foods that contain omega-3’s are flaxseeds (ground), canola (rapeseed) oil, walnuts, and walnut oil.
- Flaxseed (ground) and fish oil should be refrigerated. To obtain the most benefit, whole flaxseeds must be ground and used within 3-4 days.
- Omega-3’s can also be taken in the form of fish oil capsules. Be sure to buy omega-3 fatty acid supplements made by established companies who certify that their products are free of mercury and other contaminants (including dioxins and PCBs).
The fiber found in unrefined whole grain foods can help lower your blood cholesterol, which is important in preventing heart disease and stroke.
The following whole grain foods provide valuable fiber: 100% whole wheat products, oats and oatmeal, rye, barley, corn, brown rice, wild rice, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, quinoa and sorghum.
Choose breads, crackers and cereals that list whole grains as the first item in the ingredient list.
Aim for about 25-40 grams of fiber each day.
“Eat More Fruits and Vegetables!”
How many times have you heard this advice? A lot, we’re sure. Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a heart healthy diet and we want to make it easier for you to get all you need for good health. The amount of fruits and vegetables you need depends on your age, gender and level of physical activity. You can find specific recommendations that fit your profile at http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/ but generally you will find that adults need between 2-3 cups of vegetables and 1.5-2 cups of fruit per day.
Below we have listed examples of servings of fruits and vegetables along with some tips on how to get enough of them in your diet each day.
What Counts as a Cup?
1 Cup Fruit:
½ large apple
1 large banana
1 medium grapefruit
1 large orange
1 large peach
1 medium pear
2 large plums
8 large strawberries
½ cup dried fruit
8 oz of 100% fruit juice
1 Cup Vegetable:
3 large broccoli spears
1/2 cup cooked greens, or 1 cup raw
12 baby or 2 medium carrots
1 ear corn
1 medium potato
1 large (3 inch) tomato
1 measuring cup of any chopped vegetable
Choose deeply colored vegetables and fruits, such as spinach, carrots, peaches and berries. They tend to be higher in beneficial phytonutrients (plant chemicals), vitamins and minerals than other foods, such as potatoes and corn.
When possible eat whole vegetables and fruits (fresh, frozen or canned) instead of concentrated juices.
Prepare vegetables and fruits without added saturated and trans fat, sugar, and salt.
Getting Your Fruits & Vegetables
These suggestions can make it easier to get your fruits and vegetables throughout the day.
- Add Farmers Market fruit to cereal or yogurt.
- Top your pancakes or waffles with Farmers Market fruit or berries.
- Make a smoothie using frozen fruit and HT Naturals skim milk or yogurt.
- Top a piece of whole wheat toast with Harris Teeter peanut butter and a sliced Farmers Market banana.
- Add chopped Farmers Market veggies to your omelet or scrambled eggs (peppers, onions, and tomatoes
- Have 8 oz of 100% Harris Teeter orange juice.
Lunch & Dinner:
- Top your favorite sandwich with any Farmers Market vegetables that you love.
- Order only ½ a sandwich and add a side salad or vegetable soup.
- Skip the french fries and order a colorful vegetable as your side dish.
- Add Harris Teeter frozen or Farmers Market vegetables to pasta sauce.
- Add Farmers Market shredded carrots and chopped onions to your meatloaf.
- Order your pizza with extra vegetable toppings and half the cheese.
- Experiment with salads – try new mixtures of Farmers Market greens and vegetables, as well as HT Naturals raisins, currants, Farmers
Market pears, apples or oranges. All are great on salads.
- Make a homemade soup loaded with Farmers Market vegetables and freeze for nights when you need a quick meal.
- Prepare a healthy stir-fry using plenty of Farmers Market vegetables, serve over brown rice.
- Keep a bowl of Farmers Market fruit handy on your kitchen counter.
- Keep a small supply of cleaned and cut Farmers Market vegetables in your refrigerator for quick snacks throughout the day.
- Have dried fruits and nuts on hand to sprinkle on yogurt or to eat alone.
Heart Healthy Recipies
Chef Philip Anderson, Director of Fresh Foods for Harris Teeter, has developed delicious recipes for you to try. These recipes are healthy for most anyone but especially for those following a heart healthy diet. Be ready to make copies because friends and family will be begging for the recipes.
Farmers Market Scramble
3 tbsp Farmers Market diced tomatoes
2 tbsp diced Farmers Market green bell peppers
2 tbsp Farmers Market scallions
3 cups of Harris Teeter Egg Starts
1 tbsp Farmers Market basil, chopped
In a non-stick pan sauté the vegetables until you can smell the fragrance, add the eggs and scramble them, add the basil and serve.
Blueberry and Oatmeal Pancakes
1 cup HT Naturals skim milk
¾ cup Harris Teeter oatmeal
4 large egg whites
¾ cup oatmeal flour (add uncooked oats to a blender or food processor and mix until the consistency resembles flour)
1 teaspoon Harris Teeter baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup Farmers Market blueberries
In a saucepan heat milk to a boil and add oatmeal, stirring to combine and remove from heat. In a blender whip the egg whites to form stiff peaks, set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the oatmeal flour, baking powder, salt and blueberries. Combine mixing bowl contents with the oatmeal and milk mixture, fold in the egg whites.
Spray a non-stick skillet with Harris Teeter cooking spray, cook pancakes until the bubbles pop, flip and continue to cook the other side.
Alaskan Salmon with Red Wine Shiitake Sauce
4 Fishermans Market salmon steaks ¾ inch thick
2 cups organic vegetable stock
1 tsp HT Traders red wine vinegar
2 medium Farmers Market shallots, peeled and minced
1 cup red wine (optional)
2 cloves Farmers Market garlic, minced
1 large sprig Farmers Market thyme, chop leaves
¼ lb Farmers Market shiitake mushrooms, chopped
Place salmon steaks in a large skillet and pour the stock over the fish. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, remove fish.
In a saucepan heat the red wine vinegar, shallots, red wine, garlic, thyme, and shiitakes to a boil. Cook until liquid is reduced by half, and then add the cooking liquid from the salmon pan. Simmer until the liquid is once again reduced by half. Pour sauce over salmon and serve.
Lentils with Garlic and Onions
1 cup HT Naturals French green lentils
1 tbsp Farmers Market garlic, minced
1 yellow Farmers Market onion, diced
1 tsp crushed red chili pepper flakes
2 cups organic vegetable stock
In a saucepan combine the above ingredients and cook uncovered over medium heat for one hour, stirring occasionally.
Broccoli with Toasted Garlic and Tear Drop Tomatoes
4 cups Farmers Market broccoli florets, steamed
2 tbsp Farmers Market garlic, chopped
2 tbsp H.T. Traders extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ cup Farmers Market tear drop tomatoes
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place garlic and oil in a saucepan and cook until the garlic is toasted, remove from the heat, add lemon juice. Mix the tomatoes with the steamed broccoli and top with the heated garlic mixture. Season with freshly ground black pepper.