WFMY -- It's American Heart Health Month and eating healthy doesn't have to mean eating boring foods. You can have your cake and eat it too, kind of!
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, but it’s preventable. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 610,000 Americans die from heart disease each year -- that's 1 in every 4 deaths.
That's why nutrition expert, Rima Kleiner, joined The Good Morning Show this week to share a yummy 3-course meal with heart-healthy ingredients!
First Course: Mixed Green salad with Walnuts and homemade heart healthy dressing
Kleiner said leafy greens are important in your diet. They're heart healthy! Walnuts and homemade dressing also pack the salad with healthy fats. This helps balance out the more indulgent meal components. Watch the video to see how she makes the salad.
Second Course: Tuna & Red Onion Pizza
The tuna on this pizza is packed with Omega-3 fatty acids. Kleiner said Omega-3 fatty acids benefit the heart of healthy people, and those at high risk of or who have cardiovascular disease. Omega-3 fatty acids also decrease triglyceride levels, slow growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque, and lower blood pressure slightly.
Olive oil is another component of this pizza. The main type of fat found in all kinds of olive oil is monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). Kleiner said MUFAs are actually considered a healthy dietary fat. If your diet replaces saturated and trans fats with unsaturated fats such as MUFAs and polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), you may gain certain health benefits.
Third Course: Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Kleiner said this is the best news yet! Cacao, the plant from which chocolate is made, is rich in flavanols. According to Kleiner, flavanols can help lower your blood pressure and prevent blood clots.
Kleiner said chocolate also acts as an antioxidant, which can keep “bad” cholesterol from sticking to your artery walls.
Watch the video to see Kleiner make the yummy, heart healthy meal!
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