Heart healthy dinners
If you’re cooking your loved one a romantic meal why not show them you really care by preparing them a heart healthy dinner. Make sure you ditch the rich, saturated fats, which raise cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease, and use lots of heart healthy ingredients instead.
The Food Of Love
Here are some of the foods that will provide you with heart-healthy nutrients:
Pulses like beans and lentils contain soluble fibre, which binds with cholesterol in the digestive system to help prevent absorption into the bloodstream. Less cholesterol in the blood lowers the risk of heart disease.
Avocado and nuts
Avocado and nuts like walnuts and almonds contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which help to reduce blood cholesterol.
A healthy portion is about half an avocado and a handful of nuts.
Salmon and fresh tuna
Oily fish like mackerel, salmon and herring is the best source of polyunsaturated fat Omega 3, which helps support a healthy heart.
Aim to eat 2 x 140g portions of fish a week, where at least one is oily.
Found in soya beans, tofu, soya milk and yogurt, research shows that people with high cholesterol can benefit from a diet rich in soya. You need to eat around 25g of soya protein daily to help reduce blood cholesterol.
Peas are rich in Thiamin, a B vitamin which is important for a healthy heart. Including vegetables in your diet has been shown to help keep hearts healthy, three heaped tablespoons count towards 1 of your 5 a day.
Oats and barley
Oats and barley also contain soluble fibre which helps to lower cholesterol. A lot of research has been done on a specific type of soluble fibre found in oats and barley called beta-glucan, which also helps to control blood sugar levels.
A change of heart
Drink in the moment
You can make your drinks go further by diluting them with a non-alcoholic mixer. There may even be some benefits to your heart from moderate drinking, which should be no more than 1 or 2 units a day (a small glass of wine or a pint of beer). Find out more about the nutritional content of common alcoholic drinks here.
We have hand-picked a selection of nutritious and delicious recipes to inspire you to indulge your sweetheart.
If you are looking for more Valentine's recipes, ideas or gifts, visit our Valentine's Day page. We've pulled together all the inspiration and ideas that you might need to make the day extra special.
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