For everyone planning to make 2013 the year of heart-healthy eating, the January 2013 issue of the Harvard Heart Letter offers month-by-month suggestions for achieving this goal. Changing old habits isn't easy, especially when switching from the average American diet to one that's better for the heart and the rest of the body. It may take several adjustments to cut back on saturated fat, sodium, and added sugar and add more soluble fiber and nutrients.
That's why the Heart Letter asked certified chef and nutrition educator Dr. Michelle Hauser, an internal medicine fellow at Harvard-associated Cambridge Health Alliance, to come up with one change to make each month on the way to adopting a heart-healthy diet.
The suggestions include:
- January. Begin serving a broth-based soup loaded with vegetables and beans before the main course—or instead of it—one night a week.
- April. Use olive, canola, or other vegetable oil instead of butter. Oils are low in artery-clogging saturated fats; using them in place of butter can help decrease harmful LDL cholesterol and increase beneficial HDL cholesterol.
- August. Tomatoes are ripe, so eat one every day. Tomatoes are loaded with vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and potassium, both of which help keep blood vessels healthy.
- October. Munch on nuts instead of chips when snacking. Almonds and walnuts are particularly heart-friendly. Nuts contain the hunger-control trinity: fat, fiber, and protein.
Read the full-length article: "Resolution: Eat your way to a healthy heart"