Beth Petalta Registered Dietitian from teh University of Illinois Extension joins us to make guacamole.
Topic: Five Heart-Healthy Foods for Heart Month
Heart disease remains the leading cause of death, contributing to approximately 25,000 deaths per year in Illinois. While these statistics sound scary, the good news is that heart disease can often be prevented through dietary and lifestyle modifications. Beth Peralta, registered dietitian with University of Illinois Extension and representative for the Eastern Illinois Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics is here to share her top five heart-healthy foods and a great recipe for Homemade Guacamole.
While anytime is a good time to focus on healthy eating habits, February is National Heart Month, making now an especially good time to kickoff changes to a heart healthy diet.
Here are five heart-healthy foods that Beth recommends:
1. Avocados. Avocados are a good source of monounsaturated or good fat, which is the kind of fat that has been shown help to lower heart disease risk factors, such as cholesterol.
2. Salmon. Salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help improve cholesterol levels and reduce the overall risk for heart attacks. Aim for 8 ounces of salmon, or other fatty fish, per week.
3. Dark Chocolate. Scientific studies have linked dark chocolate to a number of heart health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, lipids and inflammation. It’s believed that these effects are due to a flavanol in cocoa beans. Due to processing, milk chocolate loses most of the flavanol, so for maximum benefits, stick with dark chocolate for your sweet-fix.
4. Almonds. Almonds are a heart-smart snack. Every one ounce serving of almonds (about 23) offers a heart-healthy dose of monounsaturated fats, fiber and vitamin E. Just remember to keep portion sizes in check.
5. Leafy Greens. Leafy greens, like spinach and kale are veggie powerhouses. They are low in calories and are a good source of potassium and fiber, which help to lower blood pressure levels and protect against heart disease. Try them in salads or sautéed with a bit of olive oil.
* 3 ripe avocados
* 1 tsp. lemon juice
* 1 Tbsp. lime juice
* 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
* ½ cup red onion, chopped
* ½ jalapeno pepper, chopped (note: remove seeds if want less spice/heat)
* ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped, or 2 tsp. dried cilantro
* ½ tsp. salt
* ¼. Tsp. black pepper
1. Cut avocados in half, remove pit, and scoop out pulp into a medium bowl.
2. Mash avocado pulp with a fork and mix in remaining ingredients.
3. Stir to combine. Serve with raw vegetable sticks, baked tortilla chips, or baked wheat crackers.
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 120 calories, 11 g fat, 200 mg sodium, 8 g total carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 2 g protein