Jena DeMoss: Happy Heart – Austin Daily Herald


February is the month of “love!” This is the perfect time to show your own heart the attention it deserves. Each February, American Heart Month is designated by the federal government to raise awareness of heart disease and ways to prevent it. About 1 in 4 deaths in the United States can be attributed to heart disease. Celebrate American Heart Month by showing this vital organ some extra love with nutritious recipes, shopping tips and food swaps.

Let’s get straight to the heart of the matter first with cooking substitutions. By making these easy swaps, you are able to protect your heart health:

• TO REDUCE SODIUM INTAKE, use less salt than expected in recipes. (This works better for baking than cooking, which requires more precise amounts.) Replace unsalted chicken broth with chicken broth and use canned vegetables with no added salt. Explore alternative ingredients; for example, coconut aminos are a low-sodium alternative to soy sauce.

TO REDUCE SUGAR WHEN COOKING, substitute 1 cup sugar for ⅔ cup agave sweetener, or ¾ cup maple syrup or ½ cup stevia.

TO INCREASE THE QUANTITY OF VEGETABLES, serve a cup of vegetables instead of half a cup. Or replace the pasta with spiralized vegetable noodles. Mix plant and animal proteins – combine black beans with ground beef in tacos, meatloaf or burgers.

Then, while you shop, keep these heart-healthy tips in mind:

• READ FOOD NUTRITION LABELS: Look for foods with 2 grams or less of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, and less than 140 mg of sodium per serving. Choose foods that contain at least 5 grams of fiber per serving.

• BUY FROZEN WHEN FRESH IS NOT AVAILABLE: When buying frozen or canned fruits and vegetables, look for products with no added sauces, salt, sugars or syrups. Frozen and canned produce is just as nutritious as fresh produce.

• ADD GOOD FATS TO YOUR BASKET: Unsaturated fats like nuts, olive oil, avocados, and salmon can lower the amount of low-density lipoprotein (“bad”) cholesterol (LDL) in the blood and reduce the risk of heart disease.

• CHOOSE WHOLE GRAIN FOODS: Look for the word “whole grain” as the first item in the ingredient list instead of enriched or “multigrain” flour. Whole grains contain the whole grain and are a better source of dietary fiber.

For more heart health tips, be sure to reach out ([email protected]) for our NEW on-demand heart health webinar link. Registration is free and you can watch at any time that suits you best.


bean salsa

For 16 people

all you need

• 1 medium mango, peeled, seeded and cut into ¾ inch cubes

• 1 can (15 oz) Hy-Vee black beans, drained and rinsed

• 1 cup frozen Hy-Vee Select Super Sweet Corn, thawed

• ¼ cup diced red bell pepper

• ¼ cup finely chopped green onion

• 1 tablespoon minced garlic

• ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley

• 3 tablespoons of fresh lime juice

• ¼ tsp. Hy-Vee salt

• ¼ teaspoon ground cumin

• Baked tortilla chips, for serving

Everything you do

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Serve with baked tortilla chips.

Recipe source:


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