Cooking and eating for heart health

Exercise is great for heart health, but you can improve it further by making easy and tasty modifications to your food. Kimberly S. Delcour, DO, has been practicing heart-healthy cooking and eating over the past seven years. She provided several tips for modifying your diet to make it healthier.

Cook at home for your heart

Try to reduce the number of meals you eat at restaurants, especially fast food. Cooking at home makes it easier to modify your meals to meet your needs. Below are some modifications you can make to improve your meals for your heart:

  • Substitute lean meats like ground turkey for ground beef
  • Avoid adding salt and use other spices to add flavor to your meals
  • Use fresh ingredients as much as possible, avoiding canned or frozen vegetables
  • Use broth or stock to cook with instead of butter or oils
    • If using a cooking oil, use small amounts of peanut oil
  • Substitute plain yogurt for mayonnaise whenever possible

Stay motivated in changing your diet

Dr. Delcour says it is important to adopt habits like these for your overall health as well as your heart.

"Once these modifications are a part of your lifestyle, you'll tend to feel more satisfied from fresh, unprocessed food," she says. "Cravings for high-fat foods tend to go away, your skin or complexion appears clearer, and a wide variety of fresh foods tend to taste better."

Last reviewed: 
February 2018

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