|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 7, Issue 18, Tuesday, May 01, 2012|
THE MELTING POT
Does a healthy diet necessarily mean giving up everything that makes our mouth water? Not really. eating healthy doesn't necessarily mean bland food and just salads, it's about knowing what to eat and what to limit. Although we might know eating certain foods can increase our chances of getting heart diseases, it's often tough to change our eating habits. This is why it is important to know what to eat and what to limit. Here are a few healthy recipes and diet information to help you on your way towards a heart-healthy diet.
The most important thing to do is to limit unhealthy fats and cholesterol. Of all the possible changes, limiting how much saturated and trans fats we eat is the most important step to take to reduce our blood cholesterol levels and lower the risk of coronary artery diseases. The best way to reduce saturated and trans fats in the diet is to limit the amount of solid fats -- butter, margarine and shortening -- we add to food when cooking and serving. You can also reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet by trimming fat off your meat or choosing lean meats with less fat.
When you do use fats, choose monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil or canola oil. Polyunsaturated fats, found in nuts and seeds, also are good choices for a heart-healthy diet. When used in place of saturated fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats may help lower your total blood cholesterol level. But moderation is essential. All types of fat are high in calories
Lean meat, poultry and fish, low-fat dairy products, and egg whites are some of your best sources of protein. Fish is a good alternative to high-fat meats. And certain types of fish are heart-healthy because they're rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood fats called triglycerides. Other sources are flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans and canola oil.
Legumes -- beans, peas and lentils -- are also good sources of protein and contain less fat and no cholesterol, making them good substitutes for meat.
Tuna and mixed bean salad with lemon dressing
Grilled sea bass
Orange rosemary roasted chicken
Beef and vegetable kebabs
Cut the meat into 4 equal portions. Put the meat in a small bowl and pour Italian dressing over the top. Put in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to marinate, turning as needed.
Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat grill pan. Lightly coat the grill pan with oil.
Thread 2 cubes of meat, 2 green pepper slices, 2 cherry tomatoes and 2 onion wedges onto each skewer. Place the kebabs on the grill pan. Grill the kebabs for about 5 to 10 minutes, turning as needed.
Divide the rice onto individual plates. Top with 1 kebab and serve immediately.
Vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals; they are low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. Eating more fruits and vegetables helps you eat less high-fat foods, such as meat, cheese and snack foods.
Whole grains are good sources of fiber and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. You can increase the amount of whole grains in a heart-healthy diet by making simple substitutions for refined grain products. Another easy way to add whole grains to your diet is ground flaxseed. Flaxseeds are small brown seeds that are called Tishi in Bangla. You can get them in new market, gulshan 1 and 2 markets. They are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower your total blood cholesterol. You can grind the seeds in a coffee grinder or food processor and stir a teaspoon of them into yogurt, juice or hot cereal.
Orange Flax Smoothie
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