The National Heart Foundation has warned of an increased risk of heart and blood vessel disease if the problem is not tackled. According to the Heart Foundation, good health is thinking about what you eat and making minor changes where needed.
Many favorite recipes can be made healthier simply by changing to a low-fat cooking method or reducing, removing, or substituting particular ingredients. (Cream, for example, can be substituted with evaporated skim milk; sour cream with low-fat yogurt or buttermilk.)
One in two Americans has blood cholesterol reading higher than that recommended by the foundation. Too much cholesterol in the blood causes fatty deposits to build up in blood vessels and may eventually block them, leading to a heart attack.
The key to lowering blood cholesterol levels is to eat a low-fat cardiac diet consisting mainly of bread, breakfast cereals, rice, pasta, grains, vegetables, fruit, and legumes (beans and lentils). Lean meat and poultry, low-fat dairy products, fish, nuts, and seeds can be eaten in moderate amounts. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated margarine and oil, sugar, alcohol, and salt should be consumed only in small amounts.
Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats can be found in some oils and margarine, nuts, and seeds. Neither raises cholesterol levels, and they can help lower them if your meals are low in saturated fat. However, they are high in calories.
Eliminating fatty foods from the heart-healthy diet makes room for healthy carbohydrates such as bread, cereals, pasta, rice, legumes, fruit, and vegetables. Many of these are high in fiber which can help lower cholesterol.
Here are five cardiac diet recipes for a stronger heart.
Soup of Pasta and Beans
Heat oil in a large, heavy-based pan, add garlic and onion, stir for one minute. Add chili flakes, pureed tomatoes, tomato paste, and stock. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium, add spaghetti and cook six to eight minutes or until just tender. Add more stock if needed. Stir through beans and basil, heat one to two minutes more. Sprinkle with cheese and serve with crusty bread. Serves 6.
Note: any vegetables can be added to this recipe. Try chopped zucchini and capsicum for a minestrone-style soup.
- Two tsp olive oil
- Three cloves garlic, chopped
- One large onion, finely chopped
- 1 - 2 tsp dried chili flakes
- 800 g can tomatoes, no added salt, pureed
- 2 tbsp tomato paste, no added salt
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 375 g spaghetti, broken into 6cm pieces
- 2 x 400 g can borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
Baked Fish with Walnut and Fresh Coriander Sauce
Preheat oven to 200°C. Sprinkle fish with pepper and cumin, brush with olive oil and lemon juice. Bake until just cooked — 20 to 30 minutes for a whole fish, up to 10 minutes for fillets. Transfer to a serving dish and cool to room temperature.
Sauce: blend walnuts into a creamy paste and scrape into a bowl.
Heat the oil in a small pan. Add garlic, coriander, and paprika and cook until the oil sizzles, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add to the walnut paste and water and lemon juice to make a sauce of napping consistency where it coats the back of a spoon.
Spread the sauce over the fish, garnishing with extra coriander and lemon wedges. Serve at room temperature. Serves 6.
- One whole snapper, scaled and gutted, weighing 3kg including head, or six fillets snapper
- Two tsp freshly ground pepper
- Two tsp freshly ground cumin
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- juice of 2 lemons
- 375 g walnut pieces
- 1 - 2 tbsp olive oil
- Four cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 cups chopped coriander leaves
- One tsp hot paprika
- ½ cup warm water
- juice of 2 lemons or more to taste
- extra coriander to garnish
Sauternes Cake with Plums and Blueberries
Preheat oven to 190°C and lightly grease a 20 cm springform cake tin. Combine egg yolks and sugar and beat until light and creamy. Add zest and set mixture aside.
Add flour gradually to the creamed sugar mixture, beating continually until the mixture is well combined. Slowly and carefully add wine and olive oil. Beat the seven egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture.
Pour mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 170°C and bake for a further 20-30 minutes. Turn off the oven, cover the cake with baking paper and allow to rest in the closed oven for 10 minutes (the cake will sink as it cools).
Remove from the oven, run a spatula around the tin and turn out—place plums and blueberries in a bowl. Add lemon juice. Serve cake with plums and blueberries and a good dollop of yogurt. Serves 8 to 10.
- Five eggs, separated, plus two egg whites
- 175 g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon and orange zest, mixed
- 150 g plain flour, sifted
- ½ cup sweet dessert wine
- ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 x 400 g can plums (or poach your own)
- One punnet blueberries
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- low-fat natural yogurt to serve
Vietnamese Pork with Lemongrass
Place shallots in a heatproof bowl. Heat oil in a non-stick pan or wok and spoon 1 tbsp of the oil over shallots in a bowl. Mix well. Add pork in batches to remaining oil in pan and stir-fry until tender.
Remove from pan. Add onion to the pan, stir fry until soft—return pork to pan with lemongrass, fish sauce, sugar, chili, and blended cornflour and water. Stir fry until mixture boils and thickens. Serve pork sprinkled with shallot mixture and peanuts. Serve 6.
- Two green shallots, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp peanut oil
- 800g lean pork fillet, thinly sliced
- One medium onion, thinly sliced
- One fresh stem lemongrass, finely chopped
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1½ tbsp caster sugar
- One small fresh red chili, finely chopped
- 1 tsp cornflour
- ½ cup water
- 1 tbsp unsalted roasted peanuts, chopped
Spicy and Sour Crab Nonya Style
Process Spanish onion, shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and sambal oelek in a food processor until well combined. Clean crabs, remove carapace and soft tissue to leave meat exposed and scrub shells clean. Slice bodies in halves and crack claws slightly. Heat wok until hot. Add half wine and swirl gently for 2 mins over high heat to coat the surface.
Pour off wine, add oil to the pan, and heat to hot. Add onion paste and stir-fry until aromatic and golden. Add crabs, remaining wine, vinegar, kecap manis, one cup of water, and sugar and quickly boil.
Cook over high heat until crabs change color. Reduce heat and simmer for 8 mins or until sauce reduces a little. Garnish with chives. Serves 4.
- 5 Spanish onions
- Ten shallots
- Ten cloves garlic
- 3 cm piece ginger, peeled and grated
- Two stalks lemongrass, chopped
- 1 tbsp sambal oelek
- Two crabs (about 1 kg)
- one-quarter cup rice wine
- 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
- quarter cup thick, sweet Chinese vinegar
- 2 tbsp kecap manis
- sugar to taste
- garlic chives and sliced green onions
This post was written by IndianJMedSci.org