As we celebrate National Women’s Health Week, here are a few tips for healthy eating. Most of us know what we eat matters. This week, try to make it a goal to eat a few more fruits and vegetables every day and work out every day. Those things alone can make all the difference in improving your health, and especially the health of your heart.
Here are a few other suggestions and a healthy recipe:
- Go easy on portions. How much we eat can be just as important as what we eat. Skip the seconds.
- Eat the rainbow. Choose a red fruit today, a purple vegetable tomorrow. Vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals, low in calories and rich in dietary fiber.
- Select whole grains. Whole grains are good sources of fiber and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. Make the switch from white rice to brown rice, traditional pasta to whole-wheat and white bread to whole wheat. Be adventurous with farro, quinoa or barley.
- Choose healthy fats. Choose monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil or canola oil. Polyunsaturated fats, found in certain fish, avocados, nuts and seeds, also are good choices for a heart-healthy diet. When used in place of saturated fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats may help lower your total blood cholesterol. But moderation is essential. All types of fat are high in calories.
- Choose low-fat protein sources. Lean meat, poultry and fish, low-fat dairy products, and eggs are some of your best sources of protein. Fish is another good alternative to high-fat meats. And certain types of fish, such as salmon, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood fats called triglycerides. Legumes, such as beans, peas and lentils, are also are good sources of protein and contain less fat and no cholesterol, making them good substitutes for meat. Substituting plant protein for animal protein — for example, a soy or bean burger for a hamburger — will reduce your fat and cholesterol intake and increase your fiber intake.
Here’s a recipe to try that has heart-healthy fats in the avocado.
Turkey & Bean Tostadas with Avocado-Tomato Salsa
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes (about 2 medium)
- 1 medium avocado, halved, pitted, diced
- 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed and drained
- 1-2 medium fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Cooking spray
- 5 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- 8 ounces ground, skinless turkey breast
- 1 can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed, drained
- 2 tablespoons water
- In a small bowl, stir together all the salsa ingredients. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Lightly spray the foil with cooking spray. Place the tortillas on the baking sheet. Lightly spray tortillas with cooking spray. Using a fork, pierce the tortillas a few times with a fork. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes on each side.
- Meanwhile in a medium nonstick saucepan, cook the turkey, chili powder, cumin and coriander over medium-high heat for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally to break it up. Add the beans and water. Cook for 5 minutes or until the beans are heated through. Using a potato masher, coarsely mash the beans and turkey together. Remove from heat. To assemble the tostadas, spread the bean and turkey mixture over each tortilla. Spoon the salsa on top. Serves 5 (serving size, 1 tostado).
Per serving: 206 calories, 19 g protein, 33 g carbohydrate, 7.5 g fat (1 g sat., 0 trans fat), 18 mg cholesterol, 8 g fiber, 60 mg sodium.