Heart Healthy Foods – Look for the Heart Check Grocery Stores

You’ve probably heard of “Heart Healthy” foods, but you may not be exactly sure which food items are considered heart healthy and which ones are not. The American Heart Association implements a Heart-Check Food Certification Program which places a “Heart Check” symbol on many foods in grocery stores to help shoppers make smarter choices about the foods they purchase and eat. But it’s not possible for the American Heart Association to label all food items that are sold in stores. Also, it’s  not possible to label all foods that are unhealthy for your heart with a warning label. Therefore, it’s important to memorize the specific foods and/or ingredients that are considered unhealthy for your heart – and then do your best to avoid them at all costs.

Food that is Fried: Sure, they might taste yummy, but fried foods usually contain  large amounts of saturated fat, and this type of fat is very unhealthy for your heart. Not only does saturated fat raise cholesterol levels, but also it contributes to heart disease. Fried foods are often found in the prepared foods section at grocery stores, and they are commonly found on menus at restaurants. You should  be diligent in avoiding food that is fried.

Salty Foods: Most Americans consume a high level of salt on a daily basis. Pre-packaged foods  purchased at grocery stores and most foods from restaurants contain more sodium than your body needs. Foods that are high in salt may taste good while you are eating them, but the excess salt can cause high blood pressure and raise the risk of cardiovascular disease, congestive heart failure, and kidney disease. In other words, it’s important to stay away from foods that are high in salt.

Red Meat. You know what they say, “Everything is fine in moderation.” This adage can sometimes be true for red meat. Red meat is high in saturated fat and cholesterol. If you eat red meat frequently, your chances of developing heart disease go up significantly. It’s smart to seriously limit your intake of red meat, substituting fish whenever possible.

Trans Fat. This type of fat is especially dangerous. It’s commonly found in foods that are considered “junk” – which are not good for you in any way. Take time to look at the labels on the food you are about to consume. If you see the words “Trans Fat” anywhere in the nutritional label on an item, put it down and replace it with something else that does not contain Trans Fat!

Sweet Foods: If you drink soda or juice on a regular basis, it might be time to stop! Sugar comes in many forms, such as corn syrup and cane sugar. But no matter the type, a diet high in sugar can lead to heart disease and an increased risk for  heart attacks in both men and women. Other sugary items to avoid include sweet desserts and syrups.

For extensive advice on heart healthy diets visit the American Heart Association’s online Nutrition Center, where you will find Heart Healthy recipes, healthy cooking tips, secrets to heart-smart shopping, and much more!

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7 Heart Healthy Breakfast Recipes

You know what they say… “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” Is it true? Many people believe so. But regardless of the statement’s validity, it’s important that you eat heart healthy foods first thing in the morning.

Following are several quick and easy heart healthy breakfast recipes taken from some of our favorite websites that reliably feature heart healthy tips and excellent wholesome recipes:

  1. EatingWell.com – Citrus Berry Smoothie
  2. AllRecipes.com – Muesli
  3. CookingLight.com – Power Granola
  4. Recipes.com – Heart Healthy Apple Coffee Cake
  5. RealSimple.com – Cereal Sundae
  6. EggBeaters.com – Fresh Vegetable Omelet
  7. Delish.com – Creamy Wheat Berry Hot Cereal

A Healthy Breakfast for Kids is Important!

Children should start each day with a healthy breakfast, just as adults should. It’s a known fact that kids who skip breakfast don’t shutterstock_88217671function as well at school or during their daily activities. In fact, kids’ behavior can even be affected when they don’t eat a healthy meal first thing in the morning. Even when mornings are rushed because kids have to get to school at an early hour, make sure they spend a couple of minutes eating something healthy before they head out the door.

Skipping Breakfast Will NOT Help You Lose Weight
People who are overweight are notorious for skipping breakfast intentionally because they believe avoiding a morning meal will help them lose weight. But this is hardly ever the case. When you do not eat a healthy breakfast in the morning, your body becomes hungrier for lunch. Your hunger pains usually start earlier in the day than they would  if you had eaten breakfast.

When extreme hunger occurs mid-morning, you will probably be absolutely famished  in time for lunch. This often causes binge eating and also gorging on unhealthy foods. Skipping breakfast is a bad idea. The idea of preparing a healthy breakfast in the morning might seem daunting. But getting a healthy breakfast into your system should not take any longer than a few minutes.

Heart healthy breakfast recipes are easy to find and easy to prepare. You have no excuses! Eat a healthy meal every morning and you will look and feel fit and strong! You will also be doing your body a big favor in the long run.

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