Heart Healthy Cooking Tips
Cook heart-healthy everyday
Small changes in your diet can reap big rewards. Try incorporating some of our healthy cooking tips into your next meal.
- Replace salt with salt-free spice blends to season meats, poultry and vegetables before grilling or broiling. These spice blends are readily available at your local supermarket.
- Once or twice a week, prepare a vegetarian main course using beans, rice and lots of vegetables instead of meat.
- Be colorful! Eat lots of fruits and vegetables from color groups such as purple, red, orange and green to name a few. They provide fiber and necessary antioxidants to your diet.
- Add new and different grains such as quinoa, amaranth and barley to your diet as a side dish or in soups, stews and casseroles.
- Eat fish that are especially high in Omega 3 fatty acids such as Atlantic halibut, rainbow trout or albacore tuna. Omega 3s can reduce the risk of heart disease and lower blood pressure.
- Avoid carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) that have been associated with longer grilling times. Partially cook meats, poultry or fish first by steaming, simmering, or poaching, then grill for shorter periods.
- Marinating meats even for a short while before cooking may help reduce the presence of some carcinogens (cancer-causing agents) that result from grilling.
- Read labels carefully and watch for hidden sources of sodium such as MSG, sodium benzoate, sodium nitrite or sodium saccharin.
- Use whole grain breads, cereals, crackers and pastas instead of those made with enriched white flour.
- Roasting vegetables in the oven is a great way to bring out the flavor and color of vegetables without adding fat.
- For a flavor and nutrient boost without adding fats, replace fats in recipes with vegetable purees seasoned with fresh herbs and spices. Use purees to thicken sauces or soups instead of a traditional roux (flour and butter mixture).
- Eliminate trans-fats and lower saturated fats by cooking with olive, canola or vegetable oil.
- Make existing recipes healthier by reducing portion size, reviewing ingredients and amounts, and checking for fats, salt and refined sugars. Examples of healthy ingredients are whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean meats, fish and skinless poultry.
- Grill or roast fruits such as pineapple or banana to enhance their natural sweetness.
- Use kosher salt - the same volume of kosher salt has about half the sodium of regular table salt.
- Incorporate more whole grains and vegetables in meals while reducing portion sizes of meats. Whole grains and vegetables provide a feeling of satisfaction and fullness as well as much-needed nutrients and flavor.
- Purchase lower or salt-free canned vegetables whenever possible. Otherwise, drain liquid and rinse in water before using to remove excess salt.
- Use eggs that are produced to contain less cholesterol or replace eggs in recipes with fat-free, cholesterol-free egg substitute.
- Make homemade salsas to avoid sodium in store-bought salsas. Serve with baked, not fried, chips or fresh vegetables to keep things even healthier.
- Substitute white rice with brown rice whenever possible.
- Heart disease is largely preventable, take care, know your risks and learn to love your heart.
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Note: The tips on this page were developed by Hamilton Beach.
®, TM The Heart Truth, its logo and The Red Dress are trademarks of HHS.
Participation by Hamilton Beach Brands, Inc. does not imply endorsement by HHS/NIH/NHLBI.