Heart Healthy Tips for a Busy Lifestyle

This post was written by VT Dietetic students Samantha Banks, Andrea Delorito, Sarah Fortunato, Erica Hess, and Caitlin Pessig.

Eating a diet high in saturated fat can impact your heart health. A few health benefits of eating less saturated fat are:

  • Lower cholesterol
  • Lower risk for heart disease
  • Healthier heart

It is easy to make simple shifts in your normal meals to lower the amount of saturated fat while keeping food delicious.

Heart healthy breakfast of avocado spread on toast

Image: Jeanne, M. (Producer). (2013, 5-2-16). Avocado on Toast. Retrieved from Creative Commons.

When Cooking: Try using canola oil or olive oil instead of butter. To keep the food tasty, experiment with different spices and herbs.

When Making Meat/Fish: Instead of frying food, try to bake, roast or grill it. These are all great methods that will decrease the amount of saturated fat while adding flavor.

For Breakfast and Snack Ideas: Spread peanut butter or avocado on toast instead of butter. Reach for different types of nuts as a pick me up like almonds or cashews.

When Eating Dairy: Drink low-fat milk with your meal or eat low-fat yogurt mixed with fruit and nuts.

For more information on lowering the saturated fat, read about the best fats for cooking. Other strategies from VT Dietetic Students:

Caitlin’s Strategy: One of my favorite snacks is popcorn, but the butter on it can make it higher in saturated fat. Instead of adding butter, I buy unbuttered popcorn and experiment with seasonings to make it flavorful but also low in saturated fat. Try cinnamon for sweet or Italian seasoning for savory!

Andrea’s Strategy: I often crave sweets, but desserts like scones and apple pie are made with a lot of butter. To curb my sweet tooth, I have a cup of greek yogurt topped with crushed graham crackers, apples, cinnamon, and a touch of honey.

Sarah’s Strategy: As an easy weeknight dinner, I love making tacos but the ground beef can be high in saturated fat. I swap out the beef for pulled chicken breast and pair it with lettuce, avocado, beans and tomato for healthy and delicious meal.

Erica’s Strategy: Sometimes I find myself craving fried foods. One of my favorite ways around this is to slice up some potatoes and bake them in the oven, instead of traditional french fries! I also like to use a variety of spices. Italian seasoning is always my go to!

Sammy’s Strategy: I’m usually on the go, because of this I find it hard to make a quick and healthy meal. I started baking chicken and sweet potatoes on Sunday night and portion them into storage containers as meal preparation. That way throughout the week I have a healthy lunch I can grab. It also gives me energy and is low in saturated fats. Baking these meats avoids adding unnecessary fat which could happen from deep frying or pan frying.

What are other ways that your family has limited saturated fat in your favorite meals?

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