01 FEB 2023

Eat Your Way to Heart Health

Close up image of plump and vibrant blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. Whether frozen or fresh, berries are a great source of fiber!
Berries, whether fresh or frozen, are a great example of a heart-healthy food high in fiber.

We hear the term “heart-healthy foods” a lot, but what are they?

Heart-healthy foods are typically higher in fiber, which can lower the LDL or “bad” cholesterol, according to Laura O’Mary, registered dietitian for NorthBay Health.

They also tend to be lower in saturated fats and salt, which can increase blood pressure.

“No need to be afraid of all fat sources, however,” Laura added. “Omega-3 fatty acids, such as those found in salmon and tuna are wonderful examples of heart-healthy fats. Other examples of healthy fats to consider adding to your diet include raw nuts such as almonds and walnuts, avocado and olive oil.”

Choose whole foods vs. processed foods when possible in order to avoid excess sodium, she noted. The best place to get fiber is from the skins of fruits and veggies.

“My favorite way to cook salmon is to drizzle some olive oil and lemon and cook in the air fryer at 380 degrees for about 8-10 minutes. A plain rice cake with avocado and tomato slices is also a go-to heart healthy snack of mine.”

And, don't forget about the importance of exercise. “Incorporating physical activity on a regular basis is one of the best behaviors we can do in order to improve our overall health and protect our hearts.”

If you'd like more guidance on incorporating nutritious recipes and other healthy choices into your life, you can schedule an appointment with NorthBay Health dietitian, Laura O’Mary at (707) 624-7900.

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