BY JOHNA MAILOLLI, R.D.
Retail Dietitian of Inserra Supermarkets’ ShopRite of Tallman
February is American Heart Month and what better way to celebrate this month of love then by giving yourself delicious, heart-healthy snacks. Most of us know that avocados, nuts, seeds and fish are all examples of heart-healthy foods as they contain the “good” fats that can help in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Salmon, albacore tuna, walnuts and flaxseed also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been known to lower cholesterol levels and possibly reduce symptoms of depression. However, eating the same foods can get routine and bland. Here are different ways to incorporate healthy fats into your diet:
-Add flavored pumpkin or sunflower seeds to plain yogurt or cottage cheese.
-Try homemade guacamole on whole grain toast or fiber rye crisps.
-Add mashed avocado to tuna in place of mayo to create a unique and heart-healthy tuna salad.
-Sauté or bake green vegetables such as kale or asparagus and toss in sunflower seeds, cashew pieces, walnut halves or pecan halves.
– Add milled flaxseed to your salad or favorite smoothie mix.
-Have a sunflower seed butter sandwich! Sunflower seed butter is like peanut butter except it is made from sunflower seeds.
– Try a nutrition bar that contains omega-3 fatty acids.
– For a crunchy heart-healthy snack, try roasted chickpeas or chickpea puffs.
Fat is an essential part of your diet that your body needs on a daily basis. Be good to your heart each month – not just in February – by giving it heart-healthy foods and snacks every day of the year!