The 29 days of February are dedicated to raising awareness of the leading cause of death in America — heart disease — and learning more about how you and your family can follow a heart-healthy diet.
The key to heart health is eating foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium, and high in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Eating a well-balanced diet will include a combination of whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables and low-fat dairy.
Saturated and trans fats are found in some meats, dairy products, baked goods and deep-fried and processed foods. Both types of fat raise your LDL — or “bad” — cholesterol level. Instead, eat more plant proteins, fish, poultry and low-fat dairy foods. Start cooking with oils high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat instead of butter, margarine or shortening, which are high in trans fat.
Healthy substitutions Switch refined grains, like white rice or bread, with whole-grain options, such as brown rice and 100 percent whole-grain bread or pasta. Throughout the day, sip on water and limit sugary beverages by choosing fat-free milk and 100 percent fruit juices...