American Heart Association encouraging ‘Heart Healthy’ eating

National Heart Month: American Heart Association

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - February is the American Heart Association’s Heart Month, dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease and start the conversation about preventing it.

The American Heart Association says a healthy diet and lifestyle are our best weapons against heart disease.

Nutrition experts say you may be eating plenty of food, but your body may not be getting the nutrients it needs to be healthy. They say your body, your heart, in particular, needs foods that have minerals, protein, whole grains, and other nutrients but are lower in calories. That kind of food may help you control your weight, cholesterol and blood pressure; all major factors in heart disease.

Baptist Health is hosting a “Healthy Eating for a Healthy Heart” class at its Baptist Health Center for Wellbeing at 4371 Narrow Lane Road, in suite 200. Two classes will be offered: Wednesday, February 12th at 10:15 a.m. (1 ½ hour class) and Monday, March 16th at 2 p.m. (1 ½ hour class). Call 334-747-7700 Option 1 to enroll or for future dates. The cost is $30.

Registered Dietician Susan Mann appeared on Today in Alabama with some recipes to incorporate heart-healthy foods:

Black Bean Salad/Salsa

  • 15.5 oz. canned, no-salt-added black beans (drained)
  • 15 oz. canned, no-salt-added kernel corn (drained)
  • ¾ cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (from jar)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of one lime
  • Directions: Toss all together, chill for at least one hour before serving.

Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Directions: Whisk first 4 ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper.

Apple Nachos

  • 1/3 cup dried, unsweetened cranberries or raisins
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds (unsalted)
  • 3 red or green apples, cored and sliced thin
  • 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • ¼ cup reduced-fat, smooth peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • Directions:
  • Core and thinly slice apples and arrange on serving plate. If the apples will be sitting for a while, sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning.
  • Using a microwave, bring 2 Tablespoons of water to a boil; combine with peanut butter and honey.
  • Drizzle peanut butter mixture over apples. Sprinkle with cranberries/raisins and almonds.

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