As busy caregivers, parents often place themselves last. We may skip exercise and opt for convenience foods or more processed foods to get dinner on the table fast. After awhile, these habits catch up with our bodies. The excessive sodium, sugar, and unhealthy fats in these foods can lead to serious health problems later down the road.
In honor of American Heart month, let's take a look at ways we can make our diet heart-healthy.
Avoid trans fatty acids. These are often found in packaged foods like cookies, pastries, crackers, etc. Read the nutrition label to make sure the product is trans fat free.
Choose healthy fats: eat more avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.
Eat Omega-3 rich foods: these be found in fatty fish, walnuts, flax, and chia. Add walnuts to salads, chia to yogurt, and grind flax into oatmeal or pancakes.
Add more plant based proteins to your diet including beans, lentils, legumes, and nuts. Try going meatless one day a week. Visit Meatless Monday for recipe ideas.
Children cultivate their taste for food early so let's steer their palate towards healthier choices while they're young! More tips on heart-healthy eating can be found at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.