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My Health

Heart Healthy Snacks

Jan 3, 2006
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Getting healthy sucks.
Prior generations touted they learned everything from Star Trek, our generation learned everything from google.

So as an upwardly mobile person (upward as in my cholesterol and weight) I searched google for what I could do about it if I wasn't so lazy.

Aparently you can lower your chances of getting heart disease by eating healthy. For a healthy which translates to less fat, less sodium, fewer calories and more fiber.

When you look at food labels look for the keywords total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium and make sure to check out how many servings it's for. A bottle of soda is suposedly 1 1/2 servings - yea sure it is, so do the math for the whole container of ho-hos and realize you're supposed to share it with 4 of your closest friends.

As a general rule of thumb if the percentage Daily Value listed next to each term is 5% or less you can eat it. I think bottled water fits into the catagory, so drink up.

If you insist on going the low-fat way, some not so horrible choices include:

  • Angel food cake.
  • Baked tofu
  • Baked tortilla chips
  • Bean dip
  • Bean salad
  • Bean soup
  • Blueberries
  • Canned tuna or salmon
  • Frozen yogurt (fat-free, low-fat, nonfat)
  • Fruit (fresh, frozen, canned or dried)
  • Jello
  • Low-fat ice cream
  • Low-fat yogurt with fruit
  • Low-fat, whole-grain crackers
  • Nuts
  • Oatmeal
  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes
  • Raw vegetables
  • Rice cakes
  • Salads
  • Salmon
  • Sherbet
  • Twinkies*
  • Vegetable juice
  • Vegetable soups
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Whole wheat pita bread

*Sorry folks, twinkies were my addition.

American Heart Association's publication from 2002 says that people seeking to maintain a heart healthy diet should incorporate almonds into their diet, according to their study. The study also reconfirms a growing body of research that almonds may lower "bad" cholesterol levels and help reduce risk of heart disease. Because of this I've increased my intake of Almond Joy bars.

The American Heart Association also indicated the following are good:

Blueberries
disease-fighting foods

Salmon
This cold-water fish is a great source of protein

Soy Protein
contains fiber, vitamins, and minerals -- all the ingredients for a heart-healthy meal.

Oatmeal
roughage and we need plenty of it each day.

Spinach
the powerhouse of the vegetable kingdom.

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