People often talk about what they should CUT out when it comes to heart health, but don’t often think about what to ADD in to their diet to help their heart. About half of U.S. adults express concern about heart-health but don’t know how to eat to help their heart. Heart disease is still the number one killer on adults in the United States. People tell me that they only eat a few eggs a week and stopped eating red meat. This is fine, but really not the most important thing to do when it comes to eating to help your heart. Here are three foods to ADD to your diet to help your heart.
It is no secret that I love oatmeal and eat it nearly every day. Oatmeal and oat bran help reduce LDL cholesterol. The soluble fiber in oatmeal and oat bran dissolves in water and helps lower the unhealthy cholesterol. Because of the strong evidence of the power of oat, the FDA allows the following Health Claim on products that meet the requirements:
“Soluble fiber from foods such as [name of soluble fiber source, and, if desired, name of food product], as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. A serving of [name of food product] supplies __ grams of the [necessary daily dietary intake for the benefit] soluble fiber from [name of soluble fiber source] necessary per day to have this effect.”
Most nuts are good for your heart. They are full of fiber, unsaturated fat, and other essential nutrients. They are high in calories, relatively speaking, but it you replace them for other foods, they can help you eat less. Peanuts and nine other nuts can make the following Qualified Health Claim according to the FDA:
“Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts [such as name of specific nut] as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. [See nutrition information for fat content.]”
Evidence supports omega-3 fatty acids reducing risk of heart disease, particularly the omega-3’s found in cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring and sardines. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and Canola oil.
Another Qualified Health Claim allowed by the FDA related to omega-3 fatty acids:
“Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. One serving of [Name of the food] provides [ ] gram of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. [See nutrition information for total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol content.]”