Protect Your Heart

A healthy diet and lifestyle is the best way to protect your heart and significantly reduce your risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat and trans fat and replacing them with the better fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. If you need to lower your blood cholesterol, reduce saturated fat intake to no more than 5 to 6 percent of total calories. For someone eating 2,000 calories a day, that's about 13 grams of saturated fat.

Facts about Fat

  • Saturated fats are "bad" because they raise LDL (lousy) cholesterol. Meat fat, butter, cream, whole milk, non-vegetable shortening and cheese are high in saturated fats. Saturated fats are usually solid at room temperature.
  • Trans fats are formed when liquid oils are hydrogenated to make them solid for products like stick margarine and shortening. Hydrogenated oils and shortenings are used in many processed foods. Trans fats are "very bad" because they lower HDL (helper) and raise LDL cholesterol.
  • Monounsaturated fats are "good" because they lower LDL cholesterol without lowering HDL cholesterol. Olive oil, canola oil, nuts, peanut butter, olives and avocados contain monounsaturated fats.
  • Polyunsaturated fats are "good" because they lower LDL cholesterol. They are found in corn oil, sunflower oil, and cottonseed oil. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature.


Ways to limit "bad" fats in your diet

  • Select fat-free and low-fat dairy products.
  • Look for words like loin and round to help you find lean cuts of beef and pork.
  • Remove the skin from chicken and turkey to remove a lot of the fat.
  • Choose fish and shellfish which are very low in fat. Avoid frying or using added butter.
  • Choose fats and oils that are liquid, not solid at room temperature.
  • Try this heart-healthy recipe!


quinoa in a bowl with an egg

Southwestern Quinoa and Egg Breakfast Bowl

Ingredients                                                                                          4 Servings

  • 1/4 cup raw quinoa
  • 1/2 avocado, pitted and diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup no-salt-added, frozen corn (thawed)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (optional)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • hot sauce (optional)


  1. Cook quinoa according to the package directions. Remove from heat and let sit.
  2. Prepare the remaining ingredients: pit and dice the avocado half; chop the tomatoes; rinse the canned corn; chop the scallions, and chop the cilantro.
  3. Divide quinoa between 4 bowls. Arrange the avocado, tomatoes, corn, scallions, and (optional) cilantro in each bowl.
  4. Meanwhile, coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and warm over medium-high heat. Crack each egg into the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and cook until egg whites are set and yolk is firm. Use a spatula to carefully transfer an egg into each bowl. Garnish with hot sauce and serve.



Manual of Medical Nutrition Therapy 2015 Edition