5 Ways to Heart Friendly Eating

More than 60 years ago, a visionary group of Canadians, including physicians and researchers, established the National Heart Foundation of Canada with big hopes for the future.  They had a dream: to put heart health on the public agenda, to empower researchers to turn the tide on heart disease, and to educate Canadians about their hearts.
Since 1956, the Foundation has raised and invested more than $1.3 billion in leading-edge heart disease and stroke research. These impressive results have been made possible by the ongoing and valuable efforts of volunteers and donors across this country (Heart & Stroke Foundation).
Today, according to the Foundation, heart disease and stroke take one life every 7 minutes and 90% of Canadians have at least one risk factor. Heart Month is the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s key opportunity to reach millions of Canadians in February and alert them to the risks of heart disease and stroke.
Here’s 5 Ways to Heart Friendly Eating as recommended by the Heart and Stroke Foundation:

1. Maintain a balanced diet of fruit and vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. Ensure that vegetables fill half of your plate, with one quarter whole grains and the remaining quarter with lean meat.

2. Reduce your fat intake by cutting off visible fats and removing the skin from poultry, use fat-free cooking methods like steaming, poaching, use of non-stick pans or spray oil to reduce the amount of fat (saturated and trans fat) in your diet.

3. Make your favorite recipes substituting healthy ingredients for less-healthy ones. For example, use plain, low fat yoghurt instead of sour cream, low fat cheese instead of full fat types. Cook whole wheat pasta instead of white and replace some of the white flour with 100% whole wheat flour. 
4. Limit your salt intake by reducing your processed food consumption and removing it from cooking. Choose low sodium products where available.
5. Eat together as a family. This will encourage healthy behaviours for all and encourage social interaction while consuming healthy foods prepared together. Research shows that families who eat together tend to eat better. 
These above tips will not only help with general heart health, they can help prevent heart diseases such as cardiovascular illnesses and hypertension.