Love Your Heart and Your Health

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in America, killing 630,000 people each year. That is 1 in 4 deaths. Many of these deaths and risk factors are preventable.

Some risk factors can’t be controlled, like your age and family history. The three key risk factors are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking. Nearly half of all Americans have at least one of these risk factors. The good news - you can control and prevent these heart disease risk factors! Healthy food choices, an active lifestyle, not smoking, and managing stress all play important roles in reducing heart disease risks.

When it comes to heart healthy food choices, we need to pay attention to following:
Omega 3’s:
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential fats that the body can’t make; you must get them from food.
• Omega 3’s are linked with improved cardiovascular health – decreased blood pressure and triglycerides, reduced inflammation, they can prevent the buildup of plaque in the arteries, and raise HDL, a good cholesterol.
• Omega 3 rich foods:
o Salmon, anchovies, sardines, trout, halibut, herring, pacific oysters, and canned light tuna are high in Omega 3’s while lower in mercury. Eat 2-3 servings of seafood per week.
o Nut oils, walnuts, flax seeds, and chia seeds are high in heart healthy Omega 3’s too!

Sodium- Potassium Balance:
Sodium and potassium are electrolytes that play a key role in maintaining the body’s fluid and blood volume. According to the CDC Americans consume too much sodium and too little potassium. Reducing sodium and increasing potassium in your diet can help lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and death.

• Sodium- The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 2,300mg or less of sodium per day. Nearly everyone could benefit from lower intakes.
o There is a strong relationship between high sodium intakes and high blood pressure. On average the more sodium someone consumes the higher blood pressure they will have.
o The majority of sodium in our diets comes from processed, pre-packaged and restaurant foods. The top 6 sodium foods are breads/rolls, pizza (bread, cheese, meat and sauce are high sources of sodium), sandwiches, cold cut and cured meats, soups, and burritos/tacos.
o To reduce sodium in the diet
 Limit intake of high sodium foods listed above.
 Read and compare labels.
 Don’t add salt at the table. Just 1 tsp of salt = 2,300mg of sodium. An entire day’s worth!

• Potassium- The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans indicate the adequate intake for potassium is 4,700mg per day, but most people don’t get nearly that much.
o Eating too little potassium in the diet is linked with high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease. On the flip side, increasing potassium in the diet has been shown to decrease risk of cardiovascular diseases.
o Potassium rich foods:
 Cantaloupe, honeydew, oranges, bananas, apricots, watermelon, and prunes.
 Coconut water, vegetable juice, plain yogurt, salmon, navy beans, great northern beans, white kidney beans and edamame are also great sources.
 Vegetables rich in potassium include potatoes, sweet potatoes, avocados, beets, parsnips, tomato paste, spinach, broccoli, and butternut squash.
o To increase potassium in the diet
 Choose high potassium foods from the list above more often.
 Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables.

Baked Fish and Chips
• 4 cups potatoes (4 medium)
• 1 tablespoon oil (canola or vegetable)
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
• 4 fish fillets (any fish), thawed (about 3 ounces each)
• 3 cups cornflakes
• 1 egg
• 2 tablespoons of water
• 1/3 cup flour
1. The potatoes (chips) take longer to bake. Once they are in the oven prepare the fish.
2. Preheat oven to 425° F
3. Scrub potatoes under running water using a clean vegetable brush. Cut in half and then into ¼ inch slices.
4. Combine potatoes, oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Stir so potatoes are covered with oil.
5. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking oil spray and lay slices out in a single layer.
6. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn potatoes over and bake for 15 minutes more. (for a total of 30 minutes)
7. Cut each fillet into two strips.
8. Place cornflakes in a plastic zip-lock bag. Crush by rolling a glass over the bag.
9. Beat egg and water together in a bowl.
10. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking oil spray. Put flour in a dish. Dip each strip into flour, then egg mixture, then cornflakes.
11. Place fish on the sheet and bake in oven for 15 minutes until fish is 145° F or flakes easily with a fork.
• Line baking pans with foil for easy cleanup.
• For tartar sauce, stir together 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons pickle relish.
Baked Fish and Chips serves: 4 (2 fish strips and 1 cup potatoes) | $1.24 per serving
Nutrition information (per serving): 410 calories, 7g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 90mg cholesterol, 300mg sodium, 63g total carbohydrates, 6g fiber, 4g sugar, 26g protein

Recipe courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart.