We all know the benefits of a balanced diet, but for those at risk of heart disease, further steps may need to be taken. Doctors recommend that patients consume plenty of fruits and vegetables and foods containing fiber, while eliminating fats and unnecessary salt.
Below are several useful substitutions to keep the foods you love with a heart-healthy focus.
Quinoa vs. Rice
Instead of making a bowl of fried rice, try a dish made with nutritious and filling quinoa, a tasty whole grain that is also rich in protein.
Yogurt vs. Sour Cream
Plain greek yogurt is an excellent substitute for its fattier cousin, sour cream, and in many recipes is indistinguishable. Plus, yogurt also includes healthy cultures essential to the digestive system. Hint: In a pinch, it can even be a substitute for heavy cream.
Tofu vs. Ground Beef
I know, most people hear “tofu” and run screaming, or at least pick around these often-gelatinous cubes. But when prepared correctly, tofu can take on any flavors you need, as well as mimicking many different textures, such as American cheese slices or even ground chicken. Check out Chipotle’s new Sofritas to see exactly what I mean.
Homemade vs. Processed
Though reducing added salts is a good step to take, many processed and prepackaged foods contain large amounts of sodium. Canned soups, for example, may seem healthy, but pack a punch in your daily sodium ration. Instead of buying prepackaged meals, prepare the meals at home. That way you can control exactly what goes into everything you eat.
Kale Chips vs. Potato Chips
The internet is bursting with recipes for healthy, oven-baked kale chips, which can be seasoned with virtually any flavor. Kale is one of nature’s superfoods, so it’s easy to eat healthy while still enjoying a tasty snack.
Regular vs. Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Though it sounds a little strange, many writers have praised the innovation of a cauliflower pizza crust, made with pulverized cauliflower rather than white flour. With a little low-sodium tomato sauce and some reduced fat cheese, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a thin crust pizza al fresco.
Egg white omelet vs. scrambled eggs
Nowadays, you can buy egg whites already separated in cartons for convenience, but if you want to separate the yolk from the egg white, here’s a handy tip; using an empty water bottle, squeeze the bottle and hold the mouth against the egg yolk. Release your grip on the bottle slowly to suck the yolk right out of the egg.
Mahi Mahi vs. Steak
Even for those who don’t love the taste of fish, Mahi Mahi is a good option that has hardly any “seafood” taste, but plenty of buttery, flakey texture. Serve spiced and grilled mahi mahi as your main meat course instead of a t-bone at your next dinner party.
Spread vs. Pour
Instead of pouring large amounts of olive oil into your skillet, or throwing in a large tab of butter, use a nonstick pan such as a Green Pan and spread a small amount of oil in the pan with a paper towel. In most cases, this is enough to keep your food cooking without burning it to the pan.
Whole Grain Pasta vs. Regular
Whole grain pasta contains heart-healthy fibers and nutrients that regular pasta lacks.
1 box whole grain rotini
½ lb ground turkey
1 jar low-sodium pasta sauce
¼ c. greek yogurt
½ c. reduced fat mozzarella
In a large pot, cook the pasta, drain and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, brown the turkey in a nonstick skillet. When the turkey is cooked through, add the garlic powder and oregano, then the cooked pasta, the pasta sauce, greek yogurt and cheese. Mix and reheat until ready to serve.