Eating a healthy diet is important when it comes to preventing heart disease and contrary to popular belief it doesn’t have to be hard.
In a fast-paced world where many people find themselves trying to balance work and family among a myriad of other responsibilities, eating a healthy diet can often fall to the wayside. However, according to Coordinated Health CRNP Joyce Dobish, eating a healthy diet is something everyone should strive for.
“Eating a heart healthy diet can help reduce your risk of developing atherosclerosis, which over time can lead to a blockage in your arteries,” says Dobish.
According to Dobish, some of the basics of a heart healthy diet include baked, broiled or steamed fish and plenty of fruits and vegetables. She claims that fish provides a good source of protein as well as omega three fatty acids, which have been shown to lower risk of heart disease and stroke.
She also recommends limiting your intake of sugar and salt, which are often associated with high cholesterol. However, she points out that you don’t have to cut out sugar and salt completely. “Not all sources of salt and sugar are bad, but they are best obtained from sources like yogurt, fruit or fruit cobbler rather than foods like candy and cakes,” says Dobish.
It’s also best to avoid processed meats like sausage, bacon and deli meats. These meats tend to have a higher amount of nitrates and increased sodium.
A lot of people shy away from a heart healthy diet because they feel it will be difficult to follow or limit their ability to dine out. However, Owner and Chef of the Savory Grille in Macungie Shawn Doyle says that maintaining a heart healthy diet doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it’s something he routinely keeps in mind when he prepares his menu.
“A lot of the dishes we serve here at the Savory Grille are heart friendly,” says Shawn Doyle. “I substitute oils for butter and use spices instead of salt. It doesn’t sacrifice the flavor at all.”
Doyle also says that he emphasizes portion control by balancing the amount of protein he serves with plenty of vegetables and leafy greens. “You aren’t supposed to sit down and eat a 20 ounce steak. The regular serving size is actually closer to three ounces so I try to keep that in mind,” claims Doyle.
He also relies on fruit and vegetable purees to add flair to his dishes.
Doyle claims that many of his heart healthy recipes are easy to recreate at home, even with ingredients like octopus, which he says you can find at local grocery stores.
He also encourages his patrons and people throughout the community to take chances and try new foods. “It’s always great to try something new. Step outside your normal comfort level and you may find your new favorite dish,” says Doyle.