(posted by Trish, our very own Catholic mom and nutritionist!)
FOR VALENTINES DAY: HEART HEALTH UPDATE
Wondering about what is now recommended for keeping our families heart healthy? Here’s a start: Avoid trans fat (now on our food labels) such as margarine. Increase whole grains like steel cut oats, barley, ground flaxseed, brown rice, fruits, vegetables and legumes (dried beans). Eat beef in moderation (once a week or less is fine especially if fat is trimmed and lean beef chosen).
Waist-to-hip ratio is the best predictor of heart disease risk, even better than BMI (body mass index or weight to height). For example a 36 inch waist and a 40 inch hip would be a 0.9 ratio. A ratio of over 0.85 in women and over 0.9 in men indicates a greater risk for heart disease. So a skinny person with a pot belly is at greater risk of heart disease!
Keep walking up and down hill. Cut your salt intake. No more than 2 grams a day (2,000 milligrams a day) but remember table salt is NaCl. You will need to convert amount of salt to sodium on a label by multiplying 2.5. So 1,000 milligrams sodium is 2,500 milligrams of salt. The good thing about salt is that it is water soluble so rinse your hot dogs, tuna fish and other items that have salt added and 50% or more of the salt is washed away. In recipes you can cut the salt in half and for some recipes you can leave it out. Just don’t eliminate the salt if you are making a yeast bread. I learned the hard way your bread will rise but will not cook. Yup, I spent all day making homemade bread (when I was first married) and I pulled out my beautiful loaf of bread from the oven only to see it was a mass of flour, yeast and sugar. After taking a cooking class, basic food chemistry all came back to me!
A blessed Valentine’s Day to everyone!