Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the US, according to the American Heart Association. Hoping to make a difference, Food Network star and dietician Ellie Krieger teamed up with Campbell’s to promote heart health throughout American Heart Month. Ellie is working to improve heart health in America with heart-healthy recipes like Turkey Chili-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms and Chicken With White Bean Vegetable Simmer. She also gave us a few heart-healthy tips that are easy to make a part of your daily routine.
Eat the rainbow. Naturally bright foods not only make for a visually-appealing dish, they’re also good for you. Different colors represent different antioxidants present in the food. For example, lycopene makes tomatoes red, and anthocyanins make blueberries blue. By incorporating a variety of colors into your produce options, you supply your body with these health-promoting phytonutrients while creating a beautiful meal.
Be Active. Incorporating daily physical activity into your life not only keeps you feeling and looking your best, it also helps maintain heart health, aids with more consistent sleeping habits, and energizes you throughout your day. Even if it’s just for 15 to 20 minutes, a quick walk, hike, jog, or bike ride makes a big difference.
Swap out recipe ingredients for heart-healthy options. When cooking with a recipe, you have the power to choose exactly which ingredients you incorporate into your dish! Try making small adjustments, like swapping out a heavy cooking sauce for an equally-as-flavorful lighter option like Campbell’s Healthy Request Condensed Tomato soup or opting for low-fat milk in lieu of regular. This will result in meals that are lower in bad fats and higher in nutrients.
Eat Until You Are Satisfied, Not Stuffed. A great way to manage portions, and, in turn, to help keep weight in check, is to pay attention to your level of satisfaction during a meal. It takes approximately 20 minutes for your brain to communicate to your stomach that it is full, so if you keep eating until you’re full, you probably wind up overeating. Nutritionists suggest stopping when you’re about a 5 or 6 out of 10 on the full scale.
Choose American Heart Association-approved products. The American Heart Association applies their iconic check mark to foods that meet their strict dietary guidelines. Campbell’s Soup offers 80 options that meet the criteria for the American Heart Association’s heart-healthy check mark.
Use healthy oils. For heart health, it’s best to use butter only sparingly. In many recipes, you can simply swap butter for more heart-healthy oils, such as olive oil or canola oil. Both are rich in good-for-you monounsaturated fat.
Reduce stress in your life. Stress can wreak havoc on your body and may have negative implications on heart health. The negative effects of stress include high blood pressure, trouble sleeping, and a weakened immune system. Find something in your life that helps you reduce stress, such as a funny television show, an exercise class, or a relaxing hobby like cooking or crafting.
Incorporate healthy nuts into your diet. Nuts are loaded with heart-healthy fats, fiber, protein, and other nutrients that are essential to a balanced diet. Try incorporating them into yogurt or cereal, eat them alongside fruit for breakfast, or throw them into your bag for a quick afternoon snack: you’ll get a satisfying crunch that helps keep you fuller longer.
Eat mindfully. Many of us eat so fast we barely taste our food. Others of us nibble and pick all day, not realizing how much we’re really eating. Slow down a bit and take a moment to really savor the flavors in your food. When you do, you enjoy your food more and wind up eating less. Plus, eating slowly can improve digestion.
Toast to a heart-healthy lifestyle. Many studies show that moderate alcohol consumption, which is defined as one drink a day for women and two for men, can have a positive effect on heart health. Red wine, in particular, contains the antioxidant resveratrol. If you don’t already drink, don’t feel like you need to start, but if you do, know you can feel good about that glass of wine with dinner.