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Posts Tagged ‘healthy eating’

Healthy Recipe: Butter-Pecan Mashed Sweet Potatoes

October 28, 2014

Sweet potatoes are in season during the fall, and they make a perfect side dish that’s not only delicious, but packed full of nutrition. Whether you are in charge of bringing them to your family’s Thanksgiving dinner, or you just want to try out a new recipe, this one is sure to please!

Butter-Pecan Mashed Sweet Potatoes

  • 4 sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of fat-free milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted

This recipe is simple, and if the photo doesn’t persuade you to try this recipe for yourself here are 8 reasons you should include more sweet potatoes in your diet.

They are high in vitamin B6. This vitamin helps reduce  in our bodies, which is a chemical linked with degenerative diseases, including heart attacks.

They are a good source of vitamin C. We all know that this is important to keep the common cold and flu at bay, but vitamin C also is important in bone and tooth formation, digestion, and blood cell formation.

They also contain vitamin D. This vitamin is crucial for immune system and overall health. It plays an important role in energy level, mood, and helps to build healthy bones, teeth, nerves, skin, and heart.

They contain iron. Iron is crucial in order to maintain adequate energy levels in addition to assisting white blood cell production, resistance to stress, proper immune system functioning, and metabolizing protein.

They are a source of magnesium. Known as the relaxation and anti-stress mineral, magnesium is necessary for healthy artery, blood, bone, heart, muscle and nerve function.

For nutritional information and to access the full recipe, click here.




Healthy Recipe: Red Quinoa Salad

September 30, 2014

Hard to pronounce, easy to enjoy! Next time you plan on using starchy pastas in your next recipe, try substituting them for quinoa. Not only does this grain offer a delicious, light taste, the gluten-free food provides so many health benefits. We dare you not to indulge in this savory side!

Red Quinoa Salad

1 cup uncooked red quinoa

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced shallots

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups (1/2-inch) diced seeded tomato

1/2 cup (1/2-inch) diced seeded cucumber

3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained

2 ounces crumbled feta cheese (about 1/2 cup)

4 lemon wedges

The red quinoa makes this salad dish pop, but any color will do. This Mediterranean-style combination of vegetables and creamy feta cheese is what makes this dish so delectable. Hour and a half preparation seem like a lot for one person? Get the kids involved! With a child-safe knife, invite your kids to chop the vegetables and crumble the feta cheese as the finishing touch.

As you’ve surely heard or read in the news, quinoa is packed with heart-healthy benefits. The grain packs eight grams of protein and five grams of fiber per serving, coming to a total of only 222 calories! The year 2013 was even deemed “The International Year of Quinoa” since the food gained so much popularity from health-conscious people. Quinoa is naturally gluten free and has been known to increase antioxidants and nutrient values in any gluten-free diet.

If we haven’t convinced you enough that this dish is the perfect aid to a healthy eating lifestyle, this salad, when served as a main salad dish, measures up to only 260 calories! Enjoy a guilt-free dinner with friends, at your next family party, or keep it all to yourself (we won’t tell anyone!).

Consuming the proper amounts of protein and fiber is important when maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For more information of preventive health care, visit lifelinescreening.com.

Click to view the recipe: Red Quinoa Salad




Heart-Healthy Diet Basics

September 25, 2014

So you want to eat a heart healthy diet? Whether you want to take advantage of preventing heart disease, or are working towards reducing your risk, following a healthy diet and exercise plan are two ways to achieve your health goals.

Here are a few basics to help get you started:

Be Calorie Conscious
Weight control is vital in prevention and treatment of heart disease. Having excess weight makes your heart work harder, leading to increased blood pressure in addition to raising cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Balance your calorie intake with what you burn, and make sure to get calories from meaningful foods that also provide nutritional value.

Know Which Fats to Eat and Which to Avoid
Monounsaturated Fats: These are plant based and can help lower cholesterol when they replace saturated fat in your diet. Find this in canola, olive and peanut oils, pecans and avocados.

Polyunsaturated Fats: These fats are derived from plants and fish, and can also help to lower cholesterol. Fish like salmon and tuna have omega-3 fatty acids which work to keep the heart healthy, even in small amounts.  Find it in nuts, fatty fish, and sunflower, soybean and sesame oil.

Saturated Fats: Mostly found in animal products, these solid fats raise LDL cholesterol and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Trans Fats: These are processed oils that raise LDL cholesterol and lower HDL “good” cholesterol.

Cut Your Salt Intake
The more sodium you consume, the higher your blood pressure will be, and as blood pressure jumps, so does your risk for heart disease and stroke. Limit your intake to 1,500 milligrams a day.

Go for the Grains
Whole grains that is. Eating 2.5 servings of whole grains per day can lower your risk for heart disease. Having a higher intake of whole grains is also associated with decreased risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

 

Focus on What’s Healthy

To fight heart disease, eating an assortment of nutritious foods daily can help lower your risk. In addition to making an effort to follow diet guidelines, taking advantage of preventive health screening options is the next step.

Life Line Screening offers a heart disease screening that includes checking for high cholesterol, elevated C-reactive protein levels, high blood pressure and assess other risk factors. Learn more about our preventive health screenings.




Healthy Recipe: Tequila Slaw with Lime and Cilantro

September 23, 2014

This fresh, zesty take on coleslaw will make the perfect addition to any lunch or dinner. Serve it as a side dish or a garnish on sandwiches and tacos. Whichever way you decide, this tasty plate is sure to perk up your next meal.

Tequila Slaw with Lime and Cilantro

1/4 cup canola mayonnaise (such as Hellmann’s)

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon silver tequila

2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 (14-ounce) package coleslaw

You really can’t beat the altogether 5-minute preparation time of this dish. What’s better – only 64 calories per serving! Keep the recipe easy by purchasing packaged coleslaw rather than chopping the cabbage yourself.

Some of you may have gawked at the addition of tequila to this recipe. While the sharp taste of this liquor pairs nicely with the tang of lime, there are other known health benefits of enhancing dishes with tequila.

Those who are watching their weight tend to shy away from liquor because of its sugar content; however, tequila is made of only simple sugars, so they break down much easier in your body and do not raise blood sugar. Studies also show that tequila, in moderation, of course, can break down dietary fat and help lower bad cholesterol.

We know you’ll love this delicious Mexican-inspired dish. Whip up this quick recipe for a last minute dinner or serve it to friends and family at your next get together. You can’t go wrong with a nice, light dish equipped with heart-healthy, beneficial ingredients.

Keeping a close eye on your cholesterol and blood sugar levels is essential in maintaining a long life. For more information on preventive health care, visit lifelinescreening.com.

Click to view the recipe: Tequila Slaw with Lime and Cilantro




Benefits of Soy Protein for Heart Health

September 18, 2014

Do you eat soy products? If you’re a woman, be sure to include them into your diet for a healthy heart. The key is to start eating soy early in life.

According to research from Wake Forest School of Medicine found that lifelong consumption produces the least atherosclerosis, hardening and narrowing of the arteries.

Most of the protein consumed in the United States comes from animal sources, and contributes to heart disease. Even eating a diet high in soy products early in life, but switching to a Western diet later in life contributes to just as much atherosclerosis as a lifelong Western diet.

In the study, conducted on monkeys, those who were fed soy and those that switched to a soy diet had better cholesterol levels than those who ate animal protein. However, those that ate a lifelong soy diet had a much lower proportion of complicated plaque in their arteries.

While there may be myths saying that soy is dangerous for your heart, soy actually does your heart good. In addition to helping prevent atherosclerosis, soy products can help young adults lower their blood pressure. Whole soy foods have high levels of protein and fiber which can help reduce bad cholesterol.

Where to Find Soy
If you want to incorporate soy into your diet, avoid eating soy burgers and energy bars since they are processed forms of soy. When soy is processed, its nutrients are stripped away.

Instead opt for fresh soy milk, edamame, tofu and fermented soy foods.

 

Other Ways to Protect Your Heart

At Life Line Screening, we believe that the power of prevention is essential to a long and healthy life, especially when it comes to your heart. We offer a heart disease screening that includes the following:

  • Complete Lipid Panel Screening (High Choelsterol)
  • C-reactive Protein Screening
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening
  • Glucose Screening
  • High Blood Pressure Screening

If you have any warning signs or if you know that you have some of the risk factors associated with an increased risk of heart problems, you may want to consider heart disease screening.  If you are unaware of potential risk factors please read the list here.

Life Line Screening provides preventive health screenings for heart disease to help those at risk detect problems before they lead to life-threatening consequences. Learning where you stand with your heart health is the best way to work towards a healthier life.




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