March is National Nutrition Month and an opportunity to focus on how healthy your diet is – or isn’t. Based on the results of the recent biometric screenings, high cholesterol is an issue for many of our employees. The good news is, for most people, making even small changes diet can help improve cholesterol level and reduce the chance of developing heart disease.
Check out some of these good-for-you, yet tasty foods provided by HealthPartners yumPower that can help prevent heart disease.
Oatmeal: Oatmeal can be a quick and easy way to get your omega-3 fatty acids and potassium. Oatmeal is also rich in fiber and can help lower levels of bad cholesterol, helping your arteries stay clear.
Berries: Sprinkle them in your yogurt or eat them plain; berries are full of polyphenols which can help reduce blood pressure.
Avocado: Spruce up your sandwich or your salad with some avocado, which lowers your bad cholesterol and ups your good cholesterol!
Legumes: From lentils to chickpeas, legumes are loaded with nutrients than can lower cholesterol and blood pressure. You can include legumes in soups and salads – or mix with other beans for a side dish!
Salmon: Salmon is known for being rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce blood pressure and blood from clotting. Other heart-healthy fish include mackerel, tuna and herring.
Spinach: Pair your dinner with a side spinach salad to up your daily vegetable intake and lower your risk for heart disease. Spinach is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and B vitamins.
Nuts: Walnuts, almonds and macadamia nuts are full of the good fats your body needs. Eating nuts can lower the LDL (low density lipoprotein, also known as “bad” cholesterol) in your body. High levels of LDL are one of the leading causes of heart disease.
In general, pile your plate with yumPower approved fruits and veggies. Add lean proteins but limit carbohydrates, dairy, and salty, processed foods. Your heart will thank you for it.
You can find more tips for healthy eating and delicious recipes on healthpartners.com/yumpower.