February is American Heart Month – a perfect time to learn about heart disease, your risk for it and the steps you need to take now to help your heart. Think you’re too young to be at risk? Younger people between 35-64 years old with higher rates of obesity and high blood pressure are at increased risk for heart disease.
Let’s work on preventing and managing heart disease together. American Heart Association’s Life Simple 7 identifies seven risk factors to address through lifestyle changes to support a healthy heart.
One of the seven factors is to eat better. A healthy eating pattern is one of the best ways to fight heart disease. A healthy eating style includes vegetables, fruits, whole gains, beans, legumes, nuts and lean animal proteins, while limiting added sugar, saturated fats, sodium and highly processed foods.
Cooking more at home is one of the best tips to help you eat better because you have control over the ingredients and preparation methods.
If you’re interested in learning more about cooking at home, join us on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 @ 6:00 pm EST for a free virtual cooking demo in partnership with Della Bowls from The Doral Yard. We’ll be preparing the “Baptist HeartBEET Bowl,” which combines all sorts of heart-healthy ingredients in a delicious and nutritious meal.
In preparation for our class, you’ll want to pick up the following items from your favorite grocer:
- Quinoa – a whole grain that is high fiber and essential amino acids (protein) compared to other grains. Also rich in antioxidants, like quercetin, which can help lower the risk of oxidative stress to help keep your body and heart healthy.
- Kale – leafy greens are a powerhouse of nutrients. Kale in particular is high in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as a good source of fiber. It is classified as a cruciferous vegetable, which have been suggested to provide protective effects on certain cancers and heart disease.
- Red beets – A root vegetable rich in fiber, folate, potassium, iron, magnesium, B vitamins, and antioxidants including betanin. In addition, red beets are a source of dietary inorganic nitrate which is converted to nitric oxide and suggested to help reduce blood pressure as part of a dietary pattern rich in plant foods.
- Avocado – known for their heart healthy unsaturated fats, avocados are also packed with fiber, potassium, Vitamins B6, C, and E. Replacing saturated fats with sources of unsaturated fats is suggested to help reduce inflammation, which is a risk factor for heart disease. Furthermore, the natural phytosterols and fiber may play a secondary role in lowering cholesterol. Lastly, a diet rich in potassium from plant foods like avocado may help promote normal blood pressure.
- And more!
For the complete shopping list and to learn more about this Virtual Nutrition and Cooking Class, click here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/virtual-nutrition-and-cooking-class-tickets-138954062341?aff=efbeventtix 
Lucette Talamas is a registered dietitian with community health at Baptist Health South Florida. She holds a bachelor’s degree in food science and human nutrition from University of Florida and a master of science in nutrition and wellness from Benedictine University. With additional experience as a clinical dietitian, Ms. Talamas enjoys providing practical nutrition information to promote healthy lifestyles that can help prevent and manage chronic diseases. Her expert tips and advice have appeared in print and broadcast media, including The Miami Herald, South Florida PBS, CBS Miami, Telemundo and Univision. Active in professional nutrition organizations, Ms. Talamas received the 2018 Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year Award from the Florida Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.