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Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Eat This for a Healthy Heart

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Welch's 100% Grape Juice
The heart is one of the hardest working muscles in the body. It pumps an average of 2,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels each day.

Instead of focusing on what NOT to eat, let’s look at what TO eat!    

Choose Heart Healthy Foods

Look for foods with the American Heart Association (AHA) Heart Check. This insignia means that the food meets the AHA’s heart health nutrition criteria.

For example, Campbell’s has recently redesigned their Chunky Healthy Request soups to be more heart-healthy. Two of these heart-healthy varieties are Campbell’s Chunky Healthy Request Grilled Chicken and Sausage Gumbo and Chunky Healthy Request Chicken Noodle. These soups have 50 percent less sodium than the original versions and are 98 percent fat free.  They use natural sea salt for flavor. Visit www.CampbellsAddressYourHeart.com to learn how you can lead a heart-healthy lifestyle and support the AHA’s Go Red for Women movement.

Get Enough Omega-3s

Omega-3s reduce inflammation, boost HDL cholesterol, and reduce triglycerides. To get the right amounts of monega-3s in your diet, at salmon and other fatty fishes, but also take a supplement of 1000 mg omega-3 fish oil each day.

Quality matters!  My favorite is Nordic Naturals because they a pure and exceptionally fresh omega-3 fish oil with the right mix of EPA and DHA omega-3 fats.  They also don’t have a fishy smell, taste, or aftertaste.  Nordic Natiruals are so high quality that they’re typically the brand chosen by research institutes for the fish oil used in research studies.  Every batch is third -arty tested to verify industry leading purity and freshness.

Get Enough Fiber

Soluble fiber helps to lower LDL cholesterol. Good sources include beans—especially lima and black beans—oats, fruits like citrus, and vegetables like brussel sprouts.

You can also find soluble fiber in psyllium husk which can be found in abundance in Metamucil and in Flavor & Fiber bars.

Get Your Polyphenols

Polyphenols are a type of phytonutrient found in plant-based foods that are beneficial to our health. Dark purple concord grapes are considered to be one of the best juices for heart health due to high polyphenol content.  Many polyphenols in Concord grape juice are the same as those in red wine.

Research suggests that drinking Concord grape juice may benefit the heart by helping to maintain healthy, clear, and flexible arteries to promote healthy blood flow.  For more info visit Welch’s Grape Research Center. Welch’s also has a new website tool to help you map out your own heart health history. Check out www.welchsfamilyvinetool.com.

Eat Dark Chocolate

Chocolate contains stearic acid which is a fatty acid that doesn’t raise cholesterol. When it comes to chocolate, go for quality not quantity! Eat only dark (look for 70 percent) and high-quality chocolate in small amounts. A good amount is about a half to one whole ounce of chocolate a day.

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Tags: Healthy Eating , Healthy Fats

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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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