February is American Heart Month. Are you taking the steps to reduce your chances of heart disease? The American Heart Association provides diet and lifestyle recommendations to help prevent and manage cardiovascular disease. See which steps you are already have in place and which ones you need to put some work into.
*The American Heart Association’s Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations are as follows:
Use up at least as many calories as you take in:
Not sure where to start? Look at the recommendations and cross off what heart-healthy habits you already have. Look at the rest of the recommendations and pick one to three that you feel you can work on and be successful. Take small steps toward these new lifestyle changes and create weekly goals. Some heart-healthy habits may be easier to make a long-term habits than others, so be patient. A weekly goal to reduce your meat intake might look like this:
Weekly goal: “I will eat two meatless meals per week”
Once you have met this goal consistently, bump it up to three meals a week or change the goal to add specifics such as beans or seafood. Step-by-step you will eventually look at the AHA recommendations and realized you have reached many, if not all of them.
Try this dinner with heart-healthy ingredients such as salmon, lentils, fruits, vegetables and olive oil.
Fish and Mashed Lentils
1 cup diced sweet and hot peppers
1/4 cup diced onion
Spray olive oil
3/4 cup red lentils
2 cups water
12 ounces of salmon or other boneless fish fillets (4 fillets that are 3 ounces each)
Pinch of sesame seeds
6 cups arugula
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Italian seasoning, to taste
Sauté the peppers and onions in a Dutch oven pan. Add the lentils and water. Then season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning mix. Meanwhile, roast the fish in the oven with a little olive oil spray and sesame seeds. Roast the orange alongside the fish. They should both be done in about 20-25 minutes.
Place the lentils on the plate, followed by the fish, and then place the arugula or other greens next to the fish. Top the greens and the fish with the roasted orange juice.
Per serving: Calories 521, Total fat 17 grams, Saturated fat 3 grams, Trans fat 0 grams, Cholesterol 140 mg, Sodium 125 mg, Total carbohydrate 29 grams, Dietary fiber 6 gram, Sugars 6 grams, Protein 61 grams
Recipe source: Food and Health Communications©
Tracey Shaffer is a registered dietitian and certified health coach and owner of KC Nutrition Coach in Eastern Jackson County. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can visit her website at kcnutritioncoach.com.