The Heart-Smart Diet: 8 Steps to a Healthier You
Pack in Produce
Like whole grains, fruits and vegetables are filled with fiber as well as beta-carotene and the antioxidant vitamins A and C. Some also contain folate, a B vitamin that may help reduce the amino acid, homocysteine, high blood levels of which may have been linked with an increased risk of heart attack. They’re also natural sources of plant sterols. Aim for two cups of fruit and two and one-half cups of vegetables each day. Less than a third of us eat enough produce to protect our hearts.
Food Fix: Can’t seem to find room in your diet for a whole orange or an extra serving of green beans? Then sneak more fruits and vegetables into foods you and your family already eat. Top off your morning cereal or yogurt with fruit and add fruits to homemade breads, cakes, and cookies. Add vegetables to sauces, stews, meat loaf, pizza, and soup. “Store cut-up vegetables and fruit at eye level in the fridge so they’re the first thing everyone sees when you open the door,” suggests Thayer.
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