Saturday, April 9, 2011

10 Tips for Heart-Healthy Cooking

According to an article in the April 2010 issue of Good Housekeeping Magazine, below are a few tips to help ensure a cardio-conscious recipe.  First rule of thumb: Use fresh, natural ingredients whenever possible. For other ingredients:

1. Choose low-fat, fat-free, reduced-fat, or light dairy products.
2. Canned goods are often loaded with salt.  Use no-salt-added canned products and lower-, reduced-, or no-sodium jarred goods, such as sauces.
3. Use high-sodium ingredients, like cheese and olives, sparingly.
4. Make recipes or egg dishes with egg whites instead of with egg yolks.  Substitute two egg whites for each egg yolk.
5. Use cuts of red meat and pork labeled "loin" and "round," as they usually have the least fat.  To cut fat and cholesterol even further, make veggies or legumes the star of a meal and use meat sparingly in a "supporting role."
6. Avoid adding sugar by incorporating naturally sweet ingredients, like fresh fruit.
7. Avoid prepared products, such as pie crusts, refrigerated doughs, and cake mixes, as they tend to be high in fat and sodium.
8. Replace salt with fresh or dried herbs, spices, or salt-free seasoning mixes. Experiment with flavorful additions, like lemon juice, citrus zest or hot chilies.
9. Avoid butter and stick margarine.
10. Choose whole grain for part of your ingredients instead of highly refined products.  Whole-wheat flour can be substituted for up to half of all-purpose flour.


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