Packed foods and all sorts of fast meals are taking a toll on the health of millions of people, especially heart patients. Home-cooked food is therefore the best option for them to consume a healthy diet.
Wondering how you can prepare a healthy meal for yourself that does not affect your heart health? Here we provide you with 7 ways of cooking heart healthy meals. Start cooking!
1. Using the Right Kind of Oil
You must select oils which are rich in Omega-3. Omega-3 is a healthy fat that helps to reduce clogging of the arteries. Oils such as canola oil, flaxseed oil, walnut oil contain good amounts of this particular fat. You can also use olive oil and pecan oil for salad dressing.
2. Reducing the Use of Salt
One major advantage of cooking meals at home is that you can control the amount of salt that goes into your diet. This will help to reduce blood pressure level which is a major cause of heart diseases. Controlling sodium content while cooking will help to reduce heart attack risks and palpation.
3. Adding Protein Rich Ingredients
Protein helps in maintaining the right body weight by increasing the metabolism rate of the body. This in turn complements with a healthy heart. Lesser fat and more of protein will help to build the right kind of muscles and also provide adequate energy for you to be active. You must therefore include protein rich food products in your meal while cooking. This, in particular, includes fish as a major source of protein.
4. Using Methods Other Than Frying
Fried foods, especially in saturated fats, prove to be detrimental to a heart patient’s health. You can use other cooking methods such as broiling, microwaving, baking, roasting, steaming or grilling. These methods are also helpful in reducing calories. Cooking in non-stick pans and using cooking sprays would add to the benefits of the above mentioned cooking methods.
5. Getting Rid of Unnecessary Fat
There are various ways in which you can get rid of unnecessary fat while cooking. One is to cut away visible fat from meat and poultry. You can also use a rack to roast food so that the excess fat drips down through it. While making soup, you can prepare it a day ahead of consumption and refrigerate it. The next day you will be able to remove the excess fat that may have risen on the surface of the soup.
6. Cut Down on Saturated Fat
Fried foods, high-fat dairy products and high-fat meats are the major sources of saturated fats. Use fat-free evaporated milk instead of whole milk. Similarly, high-fat cheeses can be replaced by low-fat options like reduced-fat feta and part-skim mozzarella. Saturated fat and trans-fat are the major reasons behind high cholesterol levels. These should be used in as minimum quantity as possible while cooking.
7. Using Herbs and Spices
Cooking food for a healthy heart can be a tedious task. You will have to compromise on taste while preparing such foods. Using onion, garlic and fresh herbs can bring your taste buds back to life. Fresh lemon juice or lime juice can also be added to the food that you prepare. Since you will be cutting down on salt, natural herbs and spices can prove to be good replacement options while cooking.
Happy cooking for a healthy heart!