Keep Your Heart Healthy - Cooking Guidelines

heart healthy

Both men and women run the risk of developing heart disease at some point in their life, especially if they are quite careless about what they eat. Are you concerned about developing heart disease? If you start immediately, you can keep your heart healthy by following these cooking guidelines every time you prepare a meal.

Keep Your Meals Heart Healthy

Choose Lean Cuts of Meat

Meat is full of protein, and protein helps you stay feeling full longer, and it is also a mood booster. However, to keep your cholesterol down try choosing leaner cuts of meat.

With beef, choose cuts like round, flank, sirloin, tenderloin, rib, chunk, rump roast, T-bone, porterhouse and cubed. In poultry, white breast meat is low in fat. In pork, the leaner types are pork loin, center loin chops, Canadian bacon and ham.

Cook with Less Fat

You can cut down on the fat through cooking methods like boiling, broiling, steaming, roasting, baking, grilling and microwaving food instead the usual frying. If you need to fry, use non-stick pans and a cooking spray instead of frying oil.

Fats can really add flavor to the food, so what do you do to add flavor without fat? Use a combination of fresh herbs, seasonings and spices instead.

Onion and garlic can boost the flavor of meat and vegetables, and also relieve inflammation in your joints.

Lemon juice is great for steamed vegetables and broiled fish.

Pepper is great for chicken seasoning.

Include Lots of Fresh Vegetables and Fruit

Every time you prepare a meal you need to include healthy fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables keep your heart healthy as well as your mind.

You will find that you will feel more alert and more focused after only a few days of eating more fruits and vegetables. 

Fresh fruit makes a great dessert after any meal, and vegetables can be added to breakfast omelets, lunch time sandwiches and of course dinner.

As well, always keep fresh vegetables and dip in your fridge for whenever your family gets the munchies.

By knowing what to cook you can help protect yourself and your family from heart disease. Also, your kids will learn to eat healthy at home, which will make it easier for them to continue following a healthy lifestyle when they move out on their own.


    • My Canuck Buck

      My Canuck Buck 08/27/2012 5:47 a.m. #

      Well, I don't smoke. :) Eating wise - try to eat lean meat/less meat, and non-greasy food.

    • Holly@ClubThrifty

      Holly@ClubThrifty 08/27/2012 7:12 a.m. #

      Great tips! I completely agree. The healthier we eat, the better we feel and the more productive we are. We haven't eaten fast food for so long that when we recently ate at Arby's it made me want to vomit.

      We just try to go to the store at least twice a week to get fresh food and we avoid processed food and fast food. Have a great day!

    • Stephanie @ Empowered Dollar

      Stephanie @ Empowered Dollar 08/27/2012 8:16 a.m. #

      I saw the "Is sugar toxic?" expose on CBS a few months back, and learned that sugar is a leading cause of heart disease, not fat.

      "The irony here is that for precisely that reason - avoiding heart disease - a government commission in the 1970s mandated that we lower our fat consumption. "When you take the fat out of food, it tastes like cardboard," says Dr. Lustig. "And the food industry knew that, so they replaced it with sugar...and guess what? Heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and death are skyrocketing."

      I've taken all additive sugar from my diet for that reason!

    • Jai Catalano

      Jai Catalano 08/27/2012 8:18 a.m. #

      I usually eat really well but these damn kid birthday parties are killing me.

    • Kurt @ Money Counselor

      Kurt @ Money Counselor 08/27/2012 8:50 a.m. #

      I think the most heart-healthy diet excludes meat totally, and is ultra-low fat. I'm not a PETA member or anything, talking purely about health, not the ethics of eating meat. Studies have shown that for cultures and people with total cholesterol consistently below 150 and bad cholesterol below 80, heart disease and heart attacks are virtually unknown. Not one individual in the 50-year Framingham heart study who met these criteria has had a heart attack. Stress management and exercise of course play important roles too.

    • femmefrugality

      femmefrugality 08/27/2012 11:17 a.m. #

      Super interesting posts...and comments! I'll be dodging sugar even moreso than I do already. We try to portion our plates with half veggies/fruit, quarter carbs, and quarter protein. Relative to each other, not the size of the plate. Read that somewhere recently, and it's been working well for us.

    • Jen@balancedlifebudget

      Jen@balancedlifebudget 08/27/2012 7:53 p.m. #

      I'm personally leaning towards a vegan diet. Not only is this more economical, but I've found that when I consistently eat a plant based diet, I feel amazing. I still have a ways to go and could definitely clean up my diet a bit more, but I'm much more aware of how certain foods make me feel now.

    • Janine

      Janine 08/27/2012 8:37 p.m. #

      I definitely do all three of these! My parents brought me up to eat super healthy. There was never any pop or junk food in our house and now I prefer healthy food over fast food or things with a lot of fat or sugar. I love fruits and vegetables and I always cook with lean meat! Great post =)

    • AverageJoe

      AverageJoe 08/28/2012 7:39 p.m. #

      I just have to cut back on the amount of meat I eat. Cheryl does a good job of making sure it's all lean...but we have the balance off. I'd like to have 2/3 veggies and 1/3 meat, and we're probably closer to 50/50.

    • Budget and the Beach

      Budget and the Beach 08/28/2012 9:23 p.m. #

      I keep trying to move to a more plant based diet. I have a 10% rule I try as much as I can to follow, that way changes are not overwhelming. 10% less crap, 10% better stuff. Just add things slowly and take away things slowly. I have a once a day diet coke habit I'm STILL trying to kick though. geesh! so addicting!

    • American Debt Project

      American Debt Project 08/29/2012 6:56 p.m. #

      What about salt? Trying to cut that a little at a time is also healthy. I've cut out bread for the most and added more vegetables to dinners. It's easy to be lazy about making veggies but I try to have a few options that are quick to make always around.

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