For a Healthy Heart Part 2

Pork

Often called “the other white meat,” pork is loved by many, but some cuts are higher in fat than others. The good news is that today’s pork is leaner and contains less saturated fat than the pork of years ago. In fact, some cuts of pork are even lower in fat than skinless chicken legs and thighs. The leanest cuts of pork include:

Ham

Boneless Top Loin Chop

Pork Tenderloin

Boneless Top Loin Roast

Loin Chop

Canadian-style Bacon

Limit fatty cuts, such as bacon, ribs, ground pork, and cold cuts made with pork. Not only are these high in fat and saturated fat, they may be high in sodium, also.

Poultry

It’s no secret that chicken and turkey are part of a heart-healthy diet. Skinless chicken and turkey breast (white meat) are very low in fat and saturated fat, but darker meat is ok to eat, too, as long as you don’t eat the skin. Turkey breast meat is even lower in calories and fat than chicken breast, so think about having turkey more often than just at Thanksgiving.

Many people use ground turkey in place of ground beef to save fat and calories. This can be a good idea, but keep in mind that ground turkey may have just as much fat fat as ground beef. That’s because ground turkey often includes both dark meat and skin. To avoid extra fat, look for the words “ground turkey breast” or “lean ground turkey” on the package.

Seafood

It’s hard to go wrong with seafood. Whether you like fish, shrimp, lobster, clams or scallops, seafood can (and should) be part of a heart-healthy eating plan. In fact, experts suggest that we eat at least two servings of seafood every week. A serving is 3 ounces, or the size of a deck of cards. These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, so choose them often:

Salmon

Mackerel

Halibut

Herring

Tuna

Sardines

Pregnant and breast feeding women and children under the age of 12 should limit their large-fish intake because of its possible mercury content. But the upside of eating seafood outweighs any risks for most people. Limit seafood that is fried, breaded or has been cooked with butter, stick margarine or cheese. Healthy ways to cook seafood include:

Grilling

Broiling

Baking

Poaching

Steaming

If good, fresh fish is hard to find or doesn’t fit in to your food budget, try frozen fish or shellfish. Canned fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel, are also great options. Buy canned fish packed in water rather than oil and rinse it under running water to help lower the sodium content.

Seafood is high in protein and low in saturated fat and is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils. Fish oils may help to lower triglycerides (blood fats) and protect against heart disease.

When you plan your next meal, choose a healthy protein: Your heart will thank you.

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