How To Plan A Heart Healthy Menu
Learning how to plan a heart-healthy menu is good preventative medicine. Whether you're concerned about your health because you are getting older or you know heart disease runs in the family, you want to start eating healthier. This means you need to plan a heart-healthy menu. You need to choose the right foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner that help reduce heart disease and promote good health. Following these tips on how to plan a heart-healthy menu will give you a good start.
Cut the fat and salt. One way to begin eating heart-healthy is to read food labels for fat and sodium content. Eliminate the prepared foods high in fat and sodium--this means some snack foods, cookies, crackers and baked goods. Stay away from high in fat frozen foods and those with too much sodium.
Learn to shop wisely by choosing food that is healthier for you.
- Make a shopping list and meal plan before going grocery shopping. Before going grocery shopping, write a meal plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the entire week. This eliminates impulse buying and too much junk food.
- For breakfast choose whole grains, low-fat milk products and fruit. When making a breakfast menu choose whole grain cereals (like oatmeal) and breads (like whole wheat, rye and pumpernickel). Eat a piece of fresh fruit with breakfast. Use one or two percent milk in your cereal and beverages. Eat egg whites instead of the yolks. Egg whites are protein with no fat. These choices meet the plan of the heart-healthy menu.
Don't skip lunch. When planning lunch, use whole grain breads, lean meats and fish for sandwiches. Vegetable soups are healthy, as well as salads with vegetable oils and vinegar. Yogurt, granola and fruit make a nice dessert instead of cookies, candy or cake. Don't forget to vary your lunch menu so you will enjoy eating healthy.
- Don't forget healthy snack foods. Between meals you will often get hungry. Instead of a doughnut or muffin try a container of yogurt with granola or fruit. Eat whole wheat crackers with peanut butter or a few nuts, like almonds or peanuts, as a snack. A good mix of dried fruit and nuts is another healthy snack. Rice cakes have few calories and popcorn without butter has fiber.
- For the dinner menu add beans, vegetables and whole grain pasta or brown rice. When planning dinner, add beans as a side dish with your meal. Beans are low in fat and contain fiber. Beans go well in stews and chili. Do you like pasta? Try whole wheat pasta instead of the usual. Brown rice is better than white so try to include it with your meals. Eat more fresh vegetables in salads raw or steamed with spices and herbs. Remember, heart-healthy menus means dinner and snacks, too.
- Choose lean fish, meat and poultry for dinner. Boneless chicken, lean pork and steak make a better meal for a healthy heart-conscious person then fatty meats. Stay away from hot dogs, bacon, sausage and brisket. When making cream sauces, use skim milk or low-fat milk. Substitute low-fat dairy products in your recipes. You can make heart-healthy recipes by cutting down on calories and fat.
- Clean and organize your refrigerator. Clean your refrigerator and throw out any foods high in fat and sodium. Buy high calorie snacks in smaller portions if you must eat them.
- Research heart-healthy recipes in cookbooks and on the internet. Use cookbooks and the internet to find new heart-healthy recipes. It is important to have new recipes to create variety in your meals. This will keep you focused on your diet and lead your to success.
- Drink red wine in moderation. Studies have shown that a glass of red wine with your meal is heart-healthy. Red wine has a substance called resveratrol, which is an antioxidant. Drinking in moderation is described as two glasses a day for men and one for women.