NDSU Extension Service - Benson County

Accessibility


Heart Health

| Share

Eat Your Way to a Healthy Heart

A Taste

For Nutrition

By Kimberly Fox, Extension Agent

Family Nutrition Program/Family and Community Wellness

 

Eat Your Way to a Healthy Heart

Did you know that about 700,000 people die every year from heart disease?  About 360,000 are women.  In fact 1 in 8 women ages 45 to 64 have heart disease while 1 in 4 women over 65 deals with heart disease. 

If you have diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, are overweight, or are physically inactive, you are at a greater risk for heart disease.  Smoking and diets high in saturated fat can also affect your risk.

Luckily, choosing the right foods in your diet can actually help you to have a healthier heart.  Begin by trimming saturated fat.  This can be done by switching from whole to 1% or skim milk, seasoning vegetables with herbs and spices instead of butter, and introducing more whole grains into your diet. 

Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption can also reduce your risk of heart disease.  Whether it is canned, dried, fresh, or frozen, fruit and vegetables should be filling half of our plate each meal.  For adults, this is about 2 ½ cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit each day.  If you currently consume very few fruits and vegetables, begin by slowly adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet. 

Fish are one more way to eat your way to a healthier heart.  Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, herring, and bass are consider to be more heart healthy.  Fish oil supplements do not seem to have the same effect as actually eating fatting fish.

No matter what your age, it is important to think about your heart health.  Your heart is the most important muscle in your body, and it is crucial that we eat the foods that will help it to keep our body functioning the way it should. 

Here is a recipe for whole wheat pancakes.  It is a great way to incorporate more whole grain in your diet for a healthier heart.  Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg, large
  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar (1 Tablespoon, packed)
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk, 1%
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Directions:

Preheat griddle. In medium bowl, stir or sift dry ingredients together.  In a separate bowl, beat egg, buttermilk, brown sugar and oil together. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened; batter should be slightly lumpy.  Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto sprayed or seasoned hot griddle.  Flip the pancake when bubbles appear on surface; turn only once.

 

Makes: 12 servings. Each serving contains 80 calories, 0 gram of fat, 170 mg of sodium, 12 carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, and 3 grams of protein. 

 

Sources:

  • NDSU Extension Service, Have a Healthy Heart, February 2016
  •  "Now Serving Whole Grains". North Dakota State University Extension Service
| Share

Reduce Your Risk for High Blood Pressure

A Taste

For Nutrition

By Kimberly Fox, Extension Agent

Family Nutrition Program/Family and Consumer Science

 

Reduce Your Risk for High Blood Pressure

Your risk of high blood pressure can be increased by age, being overweight, having a family history of high blood pressure, or drinking too much alcohol. 

 

Unfortunately, high blood pressure, also known as hypertension is a silent killer since most people have no symptoms.  Because of this, it is crucial that we are aware of what we can do to keep our bodies healthy and keep our blood pressure in a healthy range. 

The first step is getting your blood pressure checked and knowing if you are in a normal range.  If you are someone who needs to better regulate your blood pressure, consider the DASH (dietary approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet.  This diet focuses on consumption of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and a moderate amount of whole grains, fish, poultry, and nuts. 

When trying to reduce your high blood pressure, limiting alcohol and caffeinated beverages is important.  Depending on your gender, the amounts that you can safely consume varies.  For an adult male, the limit is about 2 alcoholic beverages per day.  Coffee should be limited to about two 8-ounce cups or less per day. 

Sodium reduction is also key to lowering high blood pressure.  Americans are known for overconsuming sodium which directly affects our health.  Try using different spice and herb combinations that do not contain sodium.  Read food labels and aim for 1500 milligrams or less of sodium per day.

Exercise can also improve our overall health and has been shown to reduce high blood pressure.  Adults should aim for 30 minutes of exercise at least five days per week.

Here is a recipe for cauliflower buffalo bites.  They are the perfect addition to a DASH diet, and combine a variety of delicious ingredients to make eating vegetables interesting.  Enjoy!

 

Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces Olive oil (or your favorite oil)
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • ⅛ tsp. pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 1/3 c. hot wing sauce of choice

 

Directions: Preheat oven to 450 F. Place cauliflower florets in a plastic zip-top bag. Drizzle enough olive oil to barely coat. Add garlic powder and pepper. Close bag and toss ingredients around until all are coated. Place on cookie sheet and bake on middle rack for 15 minutes, turning them once during baking. Check them after 10 minutes for desired tenderness. Remove from oven. Melt butter and add hot sauce. Toss cauliflower and stir to cover all florets with sauce. Start with about half the sauce and add more to your taste. Return to oven and cook for additional five minutes.

Makes: 4 servings.  Each serving contains 100 calories, 7 grams of fat, 510 mg of sodium, 9 carbohydrates, 3 gram of fiber, and 3 grams of protein. 

 

Sources:  

  • NDSU Extension Service, Healthwise for Guys: High Blood Pressure, 2018
Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.