How to Make a Heart-Healthy, 5-Course Meal

| 2 min read

Spaghetti squash spaghetti
Our food choices and our heart health are very much linked. What better way to improve your general health than with delicious, heart healthy recipes?
Here is a five-course meal with recipes courtesy of the American Heart Association. Make this for a loved one on Valentine’s Day or any time of year. Enjoy!

Heart-Healthy Diet

Here are some tips from the American Heart Association that will help keep you healthy:
  • Use up at least as many calories as you take in.
  • Eat a variety of nutritious foods from all the food groups. Nutrient-rich foods have minerals, protein, whole grains and other nutrients but are lower in calories. They may help you control your weight, cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Limit saturated fat and trans fat and replace them with the better fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
  • Choose foods with less sodium and prepare foods with little or no salt. To lower blood pressure, aim to eat no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day and try to go as low as 1,500 mg to lower blood pressure even further.
  • Limit saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, red meat, sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages.
A heart-healthy diet includes lots of veggies, fruit, whole grains, fiber, water, lean protein, and healthy fats.

Turn Your Recipe into a Healthy One

We all have our favorite family recipes linked to tradition, and our families love them, but sometimes they are not healthy options.
Here are some ideas to decrease the fat in meals:
  • Avoid solid fat sources like lard, shortening, or butter
  • Substitute Brummel and Brown, which has a yogurt base, for any fat sources
  • Always use skim milk instead of whole milk
  • When baking, use applesauce or prune juice instead of oil
  • Avoid deep frying food
  • When sautéing food, use cooking spray
  • Use no fat or light options of various foods
What are some ways you make your favorite recipes healthier?
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Photo credit: Lauri Patterson

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
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