Heart Healthy Foods

healthyHealthfinder.gov suggests you follow these eating tips for a healthy heart:

  1. Eat less saturated and trans fat. Stay away from fatty meats, fried foods, cakes, and cookies.
  2. Cut down on sodium (salt). Look for the low-sodium or “no salt added” brands of canned soups, vegetables, snack foods, and lunch meats.
  3. Get more fiber. Fiber is in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

Take this list with you the next time you go food shopping.

Healthy Vegetables and Fruits

Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits. To save money, buy vegetables and fruits that are in season, frozen, or canned.

  • Fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, and spinach
  • Leafy greens for salads
  • Canned vegetables low in sodium (salt)
  • Frozen vegetables without added butter or sauces
  • Fresh fruits such as apples, oranges, bananas, pears, and peaches
  • Canned fruit in 100% juice, not syrup
  • Dried fruit
  • Frozen berries without added sugar

Healthy Milk and Milk Products

Look for fat-free or low-fat milk products. Or choose soy products with added calcium.

  • Fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
  • Fat-free or low-fat yogurt
  • Cheese (3 grams of fat or less per serving)
  • Soy-based drinks with added calcium (soymilk)

Healthy Breads, Cereals, and Grains

For products with more than one ingredient, make sure whole-wheat or whole-grain is listed first.

  • 100% whole-wheat bread
  • Whole-grain breakfast cereals like oatmeal
  • Whole grains such as brown or wild rice, barley, and bulgur
  • Whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta

Healthy Meat, Beans, Eggs, and Nuts

Choose lean cuts of meat and other foods with protein.

  • Seafood, including fish and shellfish
  • Chicken and turkey breast without skin
  • Pork: leg, shoulder, tenderloin
  • Beef: round, sirloin, tenderloin, extra lean ground beef
  • Beans, lentils, and peas
  • Eggs and egg substitutes
  • Nuts and seeds

Healthy Fats and Oils

Cut back on saturated fat and look for healthy products with no trans fats.

  • Margarine and spreads (soft, tub, or liquid) with no trans fats
  • Vegetable oil (canola, olive, peanut, or sesame oil)
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Light or fat-free salad dressing and mayonnaise

 

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Choosing from the Protein Foods Group

protein

The United States Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) issued the following information sheet as an aid for shopping and preparing foods from the Protein Foods Group.

Go Lean with Protein:

    • Start with a lean protein choice:
      • The leanest beef cuts include round steaks and roasts (eye of round, top round, bottom round, round tip), top loin, top sirloin, and chuck shoulder and arm roasts.
      • The leanest pork choices include pork loin, tenderloin, center loin, and ham.
      • Choose extra lean ground beef. The label should say at least “90% lean.” You may be able to find ground beef that is 93% or 95% lean.
      • Buy skinless chicken parts, or take off the skin before cooking.
      • Boneless skinless chicken breasts and turkey cutlets are the leanest poultry choices.
      • Choose lean turkey, roast beef, ham, or low-fat luncheon meats for sandwiches instead of luncheon/deli meats with more fat, such as regular bologna or salami.
    • Keep your protein lean:
      • Trim away all of the visible fat from meats and poultry before cooking.
      • Broil, grill, roast, poach, or boil meat, poultry, or fish instead of frying.
      • Drain off any fat that appears during cooking.
      • Skip or limit the breading on meat, poultry, or fish. Breading adds calories. It will also cause the food to soak up more fat during frying.
      • Prepare beans and peas without added fats.
      • Choose and prepare foods without high fat sauces or gravies.

Vary Your Protein Choices:

    • Choose seafood at least twice a week as the main protein food. Look for seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout, and herring. Some ideas are:
      • Salmon steak or filet
      • Salmon loaf
      • Grilled or baked trout
    • Choose beans, peas, or soy products as a main dish or part of a protein fortified meal often. Some choices are:
      • Chili with kidney or pinto beans
      • Stir- fried tofu
      • Split pea, lentil, minestrone, or white bean soups
      • Baked beans
      • Black bean enchiladas
      • Garbanzo or kidney beans on a chef’s salad
      • Rice and beans
      • Veggie burgers
      • Hummus (chickpeas) spread on pita bread
    • Choose unsalted nuts as a snack, on salads, or in main dishes as your protein. Use nuts to replace meat or poultry, not in addition to these items:
      • Use pine nuts in pesto sauce for pasta.
      • Add slivered almonds to steamed vegetables.
      • Add toasted peanuts or cashews to a vegetable stir fry instead of meat.
      • Sprinkle a few nuts on top of low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt.
      • Add walnuts or pecans to a green salad instead of cheese or meat.

What to Look for on the Food Label:

    • Check the Nutrition Facts label for the saturated fat, Trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium content of packaged foods.
      • Processed meats such as hams, sausages, frankfurters, and luncheon or deli meats have added sodium. Check the ingredient and Nutrition Facts label to help limit sodium intake.
      • Fresh chicken, turkey, and pork that have been enhanced with a salt-containing solution also have added sodium. Check the product label for statements such as “self-basting” or “contains up to __% of __.”
      • Lower fat versions of many processed meats are available. Look on the Nutrition Facts label to choose products with less fat and saturated fat.

Keep It Safe to Eat:

    • Separate raw, cooked and ready-to-eat foods.
    • Do not wash or rinse meat or poultry.
    • Wash cutting boards, knives, utensils and counter tops in hot soapy water after preparing each food item and before going on to the next one.
    • Store raw meat, poultry and seafood on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator so juices don’t drip onto other foods.
    • Cook foods to a safe temperature to kill microorganisms. Use a meat thermometer, which measures the internal temperature of cooked meat and poultry, to make sure that the meat is cooked all the way through.
    • Chill (refrigerate) perishable food promptly and defrost foods properly. Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food and leftovers within two hours.
    • Plan ahead to defrost foods. Never defrost food on the kitchen counter at room temperature. Thaw food by placing it in the refrigerator, submerging air-tight packaged food in cold tap water (change water every 30 minutes), or defrosting on a plate in the microwave.
    • Avoid raw or partially cooked eggs or foods containing raw eggs and raw or undercooked meat and poultry.
    • Women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children should avoid some types of fish as their protein. Click here or call SAFEFOOD for more information on the best fish to eat.

Source: USDA, ChooseMyPlate.gov

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The Best and Worst Halloween Candies to Eat

HalloweenBefore you head out to buy Halloween candy to give to the children trick or treating in your neighborhood, you may want to  consider what Dr. Timothy Chase, a 20-year veteran of cosmetic dentistry has to say about the good and the not so good Halloween candies.

With Halloween right around the corner, it is that time of the year again: scares and thrills around every corner.  Children are scared of scary movies, ghost stories, and scary costumes, and parents are scared of all the candy their kids will bring home.  Tiny candies in the doctor’s office or the workplace start to pop up and we can not help but indulge ourselves in these sugary treats.  There is nothing wrong with a few indulgences, however, not all Halloween candy is created equally.

When it comes to healthy teeth, certain candies can be completely detrimental to your smile, while others are less of a threat.

“Some people do not realize how important it can be to take care of your teeth,”says Dr Chase.  “Not only does a healthy smile make you look and feel better, but, dental health issues have been linked to systemic problems like heart and kidney issues and low birth weight in babies.”

Brushing and flossing are not always enough to keep your teeth healthy.  What you eat and what you do not eat can be a huge factor in how healthy your teeth are.

Keep your teeth in mind this Halloween season:

* Taffy and candies filled with caramel, coconut, or nuts are the worst kinds of candy for teeth because they stick to everything inside of your mouth, including the grooves of your teeth.  The longer a food sticks to your teeth, the longer bacteria can feed on it – which could produce cavity-causing acid.

*   Hard candy such as lollipops or jawbreakers, are the second worst candies to be munching on.  Although they do not stick to your mouth, they take a long time to dissolve.  The longer a food stays in your mouth, the more acidic the environment becomes.

*   Sour candy is also bad for your teeth because it has a higher acidic content, which can break down tooth enamel.

*   While Powdery Candy such as Pixie Stix dissolve quickly in the mouth and don’t require chewing, they contain nothing but sugar and can lead to cavities by changing the mouth’s PH and giving bacteria straight sugar to eat.

*   Chocolate, with no sticky fillings, will generally not stick to your teeth and therefore it is a much better option if you have the urge for a sweet snack.

*   Sugar-free gum may be the best treat this Halloween season because it leaves no sticky residue, which causes plaque, and it is sweetened with xylitol – a natural sugar that the bacteria is unable to form plaque on.

*   Of course….If possible, it would be much better to put down the candy and grab a piece of fruit.

 

About Dr. Timothy Chase: Dr. Chase, D.M.D., is a practicing partner in SmilesNY, a leading cosmetic dentistry practice in New York City.  He has made it his life’s work to educate patients about the significance of possessing a healthy smile as a critical indicator of overall health and wellness.

Dr. Chase  earned a DMD degree in 1993.  He went on to complete a general practice residency at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital,  Westchester County Veterans Administration Hospital in 1994. Dr. Chase served as a clinical instructor at the New York University Dental School.   He is a member of the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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