Posts Tagged ‘healthy eating’

10 Tips for a Heart-Healthy Diet

Veggie Heart HealthyA healthy diet is one of the best ways to combat heart disease. And including healthier choices in your diet isn’t hard, since there are lots of delicious heart-healthy foods available, including whole grain breads, fruit, vegetables, fish, extra virgin olive oil, nuts and even chocolate. There are also some things you should avoid—or avoid too much of. Below are 10 tips to help you get on the path to a more heart-healthy diet.

  1. Eat Fish Regularly 
    Omega-3 fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA) that are found naturally in fish can provide numerous cardiovascular benefits, including reducing blood triglycerides, reducing blood clotting and regulating heart rhythms.
  2. Include Lycopene-Rich Foods in Your Diet
    Lycopene is a plant nutrient that has been associated with reducing the risk of heart disease. There is lots of lycopene in tomato products (particularly cooked ones), pink grapefruit and watermelon.
  3. Eat the Right Kinds of Fat
    Aim for a balance of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Research indicates that both types have benefits, including reducing the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood. Try choosing extra virgin olive oil or canola oil instead of butter or margarine, and natural peanut butter rather than the kind with hydrogenated fat added. Also, almonds, cashews, pistachios and walnuts are good sources of healthy fat and make for easy snacks.
  4. Eat Plenty of Colorful Fruits and Vegetables
    In general, richly colored fruits and vegetables contain lots of helpful plant nutrients, and many have been shown to help protect against heart disease, among other health conditions.
  5. Include Plenty of Fiber in Your Diet
    A diet high in both soluble and insoluble fiber can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Soluble fiber, in particular, helps lower cholesterol levels. Good sources of soluble fiber include oats, oat bran, fruits (such as apples, pears, citrus fruits and berries), vegetables, (like carrots, cabbage and sweet potatoes) and legumes. Insoluble fiber is found in grain products like whole-grain breads, cereals and pastas.
  6. Eat Chocolate—in Moderation
    Milk chocolate, dark chocolate and bittersweet chocolate all contain a unique kind of saturated fat — stearic acid — that doesn’t raise blood cholesterol levels, and dark chocolate is also a good source of substances called antioxidants that are helpful in combating heart disease and other health problems. But chocolate also contains added sugars and caffeine , which should be consumed in limited portions (see below), so don’t eat too much.
  7. Try the DASH Eating Plan
    “DASH” stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.” The DASH diet is low in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, and rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, whole grains, poultry, fish and nuts. In addition to helping with hypertension, the DASH diet may also help lower cholesterol. Learn more about the DASH Eating Plan.
  8. Reduce Salt
    Salt makes the body retain fluid, which can strain the heart. This can lead to increased blood pressure and added burden on your heart muscle. Try replacing added salt in your diet with fresh or dried herbs, lemon, onion or no-salt seasonings. Get ideas for other tasty salt substitutes.
  9. Limit Caffeine
    While there isn’t a consensus on the effects coffee can have on your heart, many experts recommend limiting caffeine intake to the equivalent of no more than three or four cups of coffee a day. But remember that other foods and drinks, such as tea, chocolate and many soft drinks, also contain caffeine and factor these into your daily total as well.
  10. Curb Added Sugars
    More than sugars found naturally in fruit and dairy products, added sugars are associated with elevated bad cholesterol and triglycerides and low good cholesterol, which increase the risk of heart disease.

If you are a woman who thinks you may be at a higher risk of developing heart disease, call 404-778-7777 to schedule a comprehensive cardiovascular risk assessment with an Emory Women’s Heart Center specialist.

About Dr. Cutchins

Alexis Cutchins, MDAlexis Cutchins, MD is an assistant professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Cutchins completed medical school at Emory University School of Medicine before going to New York Presbyterian Hospital for her internship and residency in internal medicine. She completed an NIH-supported research fellowship in vascular biology and a clinical fellowship in cardiovascular diseases at the University of Virginia in 2012. She has a special interest in heart disease in women, in addition to heart disease prevention and risk reduction in cardiology patients.

About the Emory Women’s Heart Center

Emory Women’s Heart Center is a unique program dedicated to screening for, preventing and treating heart disease in women. The Center, led by nationally renowned cardiologist Gina Price Lundberg, MD , provides comprehensive cardiac risk assessments and screenings for patients at risk for heart disease, as well as a full range of treatment options for women already diagnosed with heart disease. Call 404-778-7777 to schedule a comprehensive cardiac screening and find out if you are at risk for heart disease.

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Dr. Lundberg Shares Heart Healthy Holiday Recipes and Tips for the Whole Family!

Heart Healthy RecipesThank you for attending the live chat on Eating Heart Healthy during the holidays. We had some great questions and I hope you found the information valuable to ensure that you stay heart healthy this holiday season!

We had a couple questions about our favorite recipes that we were not able to respond to so we outlined two below that we love to prepare this time of year from the American Heart Association’s Healthy Recipes book.

Roasted Carrots, Beets, and Red Onion Wedges (Serves 4)


  • 2 medium beets (~5oz) peeled and cut into ½ inch wedges and patted dry with paper towels
  • 3 small carrots (~2oz each) cut crosswise into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 onion (medium)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  • Preheat oven to 425
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to keep it getting stained.
  • Lightly spray with foil and cooking spray
  • Put beets, carrots, and onion wedges on the foil.
  • Drizzle the oil and sprinkle the oregano and salt over the vegetables
  • Toss gently
  • Arrange the vegetables in a single layer so they don’t touch.
  • Bake 15 minutes. Stir. Bake another 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.


  • 78 Calories
  • 2.5 grams total fat
  • 14 grams carbohydrates
  • 4 grams fiber
  • 9 grams sugar
  • 2 grams protein

Pork Medallions in Chunky Apple Cream Sauce (Serves 4)


  • 1 pound pork tenderloin
    • All visible fat discarded
    • Cut crosswise into 1 inch slices and each flattened to ½ inch
  • 2 teaspoons light tub margarine
  • 1 medium cooking apple, such as Granny Smith, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 5 ounces fat – free evaporated milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley


  • Turn stove on medium heat.
  • Spray a large skillet with cooking spray.
  • Arrange pork in a single layer in the skillet.
  • Cook for 2 minutes on each side.
  • Transfer to a larger plate.
  • Reduce heat to medium.
  • In same skillet, melt margarine.
  • Cook the apple and onion for 5 minutes until onion is tender, stir in garlic.
  • Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly
  • Stir in remaining ingredients except parsley.
  • Bring to a simmer and simmer for 1 minute.
  • Stir in parsley.
  • Return the pork to the skillet and spoon the sauce over the pork.
  • Reduce heat and cook one additional minute.

Nutritional Information

  • 215 calories
  • 6.0 grams Fat
  • 28 grams Protein
  • 12 grams carbohydrates

Thank you again for joining us. Join us on Tuesday, February 11 at noon for a live chat with Emory Women’s Heart Center physician Alexis Cutchins about Treating and Preventing Heart Disease in Women. To register visit

About Gina Lundberg, MD
Dr. Gina LundbergDr. Lundberg, Emory Women’s Center Clinical Director, is a Preventive Cardiologist with The Emory Clinic in East Cobb. Dr. Lundberg is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine.

She is a National AHA Spokesperson. Dr. Lundberg has been a Board Member of the American Heart Association for Atlanta from 2001 till 2007 and was on the Southeast Affiliate Board 2006-2007. She also served on the SEA Strategic Health Initiatives Committee to promote Go Red for Women. She has been involved in every program related to the Go Red for Women initiative for the metro Atlanta area since its development in 2003. Dr. Lundberg was the Honoree for North Fulton/ Gwinnett County Heart Ball for 2006. In 2009 she was awarded the Women with Heart Award at the Go Red Luncheon for outstanding dedication to the program. She is a Circle of Red founding member and Cor Vitae member for AHA. She also serves on the ACCF Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Committee.

She has been interviewed on the subject of Heart Disease in Women on CNN and in USA Today. Governor Sonny Perdue appointed Dr. Lundberg to the Advisory Board for the Department of Women’s Health for the State of Georgia in 2007 till 2011. In 2005, Atlanta Woman Magazine awarded Dr. Lundberg the Top 10 Innovator Award for Medicine. In 2008 Atlanta Woman Magazine named her one of the Top 25 Professional Women to Watch and the only woman in the field of medicine. She has published articles in several medical journals and contributed to several text books.

She attended the Medical College of Georgia and trained in Internal Medicine at Atlanta Medical Center (Georgia Baptist). Her cardiology fellowship was at Rush University in Chicago. She has been in practice in Atlanta since 1994. She is Board Certified in Cardiology and Internal Medicine and recertified in both in 2002. Dr. Lundberg has two children and considers motherhood her first and foremost career. Dr. Lundberg has lived most of her life in the metro Atlanta area.

About Stacy Jaskwhich, NP-C
Stacy Jaskwhich is a certified Nurse Practitioner with 20 years of medical experience, primarily in Cardiology. After graduating with her BSN from the University of South Carolina, she found her career and passion for cardiology while caring for patients in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care unit. After obtaining her Masters degree as a nurse practitioner from Clemson University, she expanded her career while practicing in the emergency room setting both in Greenville South Carolina as well as Northwestern Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.

Stacy is currently the Clinical Coordinator of Saint Joseph’s Heart Center for Women where she personally evaluates women through early screening and education. She also promotes research and community awareness of women and heart disease. Her favorite aspect of care is education, which is crucial in cardiac prevention. She also enjoys motivating women to make healthy life style changes. She is a Nurse Practitioner for The Emory Clinic as well and sees patients at the East Cobb location. She is a member of the Preventive Cardiovascular Nursing Association, the American College of Cardiology and is involved in many other local Advanced Provider Associations. She was a finalist in the 2012 March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Award. Favorite pastimes include running, biking, shopping, and being outside and of course, spending time with family and friends.

About the Emory Women’s Heart Center
Emory Women’s Heart Center is a unique program dedicated to screening, preventing and treating heart disease in women. The Center, led by nationally renowned cardiologist Gina Lundberg, MD provides comprehensive cardiac risk assessment and screenings for patients at risk for heart disease as well as full range of treatment options for women already diagnosed with heart disease care.

Find out if you are at risk for heart disease by scheduling your comprehensive cardiac screening. Call 404-778-7777.

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