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How to Eat for a Healthy Heart

Some foods simply work harder than others to protect your health. The following foods can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and generally reduce your risk of heart disease. Kathy B. Glazer, RD, director of nutrition for the George Washington University Weight Management Program, and the editors of FITNESS share a few of our favorite ingredients for a heart-healthy kitchen.

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Blueberries

Antioxidants in these berries help fight inflammation and lower bad LDL cholesterol, blood fats, and blood sugar.

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Olive and Canola Oil

High in heart-smart monounsaturated fats; lower in saturated fat than other oils.

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Cinnamon

Mix 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and 2 teaspoons honey with 2 tablespoons peanut butter. Spread on sliced apples or pears.

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Oatmeal

A great source of soluble fiber and full of heart-friendly B vitamins.

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Peppermint

Puree 2 tablespoons fresh mint with 1/2 cup yogurt or ricotta cheese. Serve with berries.

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Nuts

Packed with heart helpers, like omega-3 fatty acids, phytochemicals, potassium, and vitamin E.

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Salmon

Omega-3s help reduce triglycerides and bad cholesterol and make blood flow smoothly, lessening the chance of clotting.

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Ginger

Toss 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger with 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce, and 1/2 cup 100 percent pineapple juice for a zesty marinade.

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Crushed Red Pepper

Dust 1/8 teaspoon on hummus for a kick, or saute 1/4 teaspoon with 1/2 cup light coconut milk for a shrimp-and-broccoli stir-fry.

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Red Wine and Grape Juice

Contain high levels of antioxidants that help protect the vascular system.

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Sage

Dip a whole-grain roll in olive oil instead of butter, with a sprinkle of sage and black pepper.

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Spinach

B vitamins and antioxidants fight heart disease; magnesium can help lower blood pressure.

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Curry

Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon on cooked cauliflower, or add to chicken salad.

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Flaxseeds

Rich in ALA, a fatty acid that may help regulate blood pressure, blood fat, and inflammation.

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Legumes

Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol and can help improve insulin resistance.

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Soy

Replace meat in your meal with soy-based foods, such as tofu, to help lower cholesterol.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, November/December 2008.

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fotini11 wrote:

Canola oil I consider "Car Grease" very toxic and very bad for you. I use olive oil and coconut oil (although it has saturated fats, it's the type that your body ingests and is very healthy to maintaining a healthy weight) Canola oil is nothing more than a contribution to today's obesity.

2/8/2012 11:37:51 AM Report Abuse
xanca03 wrote:

canola oil is toxic to humans and animals. it was never meant to be ingested, rather it was created as a lubricant for machinery. insects won't even eat the rapeseed or the plant that it comes from. it causes them to suffocate if ingested.

2/7/2012 01:00:37 PM Report Abuse
gvonderembse wrote:

I would recommend CNN's documentary entitled "The Last Heart Attack" featuring Dr. Esselstyn or a review of Dr. Esselstyn's research on heart disease. Any type of oil is bad.

9/22/2011 06:45:15 AM Report Abuse
lestermick wrote:

http://bit.ly/evOdq9

3/1/2011 03:57:34 PM Report Abuse

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