Did you know that obesity has overtaken smoking as the leading cause for premature heart attack? Being overweight or obese is a major risk-factor for developing heart disease because it puts extra strain on the heart. Nurse Rose Melendez, RN, shares her tips to eat a heart-healthy diet.

How can meal prepping help in maintaining a heart healthy diet?

When you prepare your meals ahead of time it’s convenient, cost effective and allows you to have control over the choice of ingredients. Building your own heart healthy diet is important because it can:

● Lower your blood pressure and cholesterol

● Help you keep a healthy weight, and

● Reduce your risk for heart disease and diabetes

● How can you build a heart-healthy meal?

How can you build a heart-healthy meal?

As you choose ingredients for your upcoming meals, you want to aim for a balanced variety of these nutrient-rich foods with appropriate portion sizes, such as:

● Half your plate with fruits and vegetables

● One quarter of whole grains like whole wheat barley or berries, quinoa, oats and brown rice

● One quarter of lean protein like fish, chicken, beans or nuts.

What are additional heart healthy ingredients that will make our meals healthy but still flavorful?

Try these tasty but heart-healthy ingredients:

● Healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, olive oil and avocados

● Low-fat cheese or dairy products to cut unhealthy, saturated fats.

● Spices and herbs instead of salt to add flavor

What kind of food should we avoid?

When meal-planning, try to avoid or limit these items that can harm your heart, such as:

● White rice, bread or pasta

● Red meat

● Fried foods

● Butter

● Salad dressing

● Food high in sugar, salt or saturated fats

Want a night on the town in Washington, D.C.? Take Adventist HealthCare’s fast, FREE heart health risk assessment this February to learn your risk for heart disease and enter for your chance to win a two-night getaway in Washington D.C. and $200 to the Kennedy Center.

Rose Melendez, RN

Rose Melendez, RN

Head of Emergency Department

Rose Melendez, RN is the head of the Emergency Department and Nursing Administration at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center. Tune into WGTS 91.9 FM every Wednesday at 7:40 a.m. to listen to Nurse Rose live on the radio.

Take our FREE online Heart Risk Assessment