25 Heart Healthy Cooking Tips
By Dani Rodriguez, MS, RDN
To lower your risk of heart disease or to manage your existing disease,
try these tips for preparing meals.
LIMIT SATURATED AND TRANS FAT
- Select lean cuts of beef and pork, especially cuts with "loin"
or "round" in their name.
- Cut back on processed meats high in saturated fat, such as hot dogs, salami
- Bake, broil, roast, stew or stir-fry lean meats, fish or poultry.
- Drain the fat off cooked ground meat.
- When you make a stew or soup, refrigerate leftovers and skim off the fat
with a spoon before reheating and serving.
- Eat fish regularly. Try different ways of cooking such as baking, broiling,
grilling and poaching to add variety.
- Include plant foods as sources of protein, including soybeans, pinto beans,
lentils and nuts.
- Replace higher-fat cheeses with lower-fat options such as reduced-fat feta
and part-skim mozzarella.
- Thicken sauces with evaporated fat-free milk instead of whole milk.
- Move toward using lower-fat milk and yogurt. Start with 2% products, then
move to 1% and finally to fat-fre to adjust to the new taste.
- Use liquid vegetable oils and soft margarine instead of stick margarine
- Limit trans fats often found in foods such as cakes, cookies, crackers,
pastries, pies, muffins, doughnuts and French fries. Many food
- manufacturers have removed trans fats from their foods. Check the Nutrition
Facts Label on food packaging to see if trans fats are listed.
- Use small amounts of oils such as canola and olive in recipes and for sautéing.
- Make salad dressings with olive or pecan oil.
EAT FOODS CONTAINING OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
- Select oils that provide omega-3 fatty acids, such as canola or flaxseed oil.
- Add walnuts to cereal, salads or muffins. Try walnut oil in salad dressings, too.
- Eat two 4-ounce portions of fatty fish each week, such as salmon, lake
trout, albacore tuna (in water, if canned), mackerel and sardines.
- Some chickens are given feed that is high in omega-3s, so their eggs will
contain more as well. When buying eggs, check the package label
REDUCE SALT (SODIUM)
- Prepare foods at home so you can control the amount of salt in your meals.
- Use as little salt in cooking as possible. You can cut at least half the
salt from most recipes.
- Add no additional salt to food at the table.
- Select reduced-sodium or no-salt-added canned soups and vegetables.
- Check the Nutrition Facts Label for sodium and choose products with lower
- Season foods with herbs, spices, garlic, onions, peppers and lemon or lime
juice to add flavor.
For more information contact one of our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists at the
Torrance Memorial Specialty Center: 2841 Lomita Blvd., 3rd Floor, Suite
335 • 310-891-6707