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10 Food Swaps to Make Your Heart Healthy

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These 10 simple lifestyle changes can save you from the nation's number-one killer, heart disease.

Instead of Potato Chips

Heart disease is still the nation's number-one killer. Exactly what keeps your heart healthy is still a bit controversial, but what we do know is that being physically active, eating fruits and vegetables, reducing certain types of saturated fats, and increasing "good" fats all help. Here are a few swaps that could help you have a healthier heart.

1. Snack on pistachios.

Research in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition has shown that a four-week pistachio diet containing moderate amounts of heart-healthy fat decreases risk factors for heart disease with no weight gain. Another study, done at Penn State, compared two groups, one following a cholesterol-lowering diet and another that added pistachios to the same diet. Researchers concluded that eating either 1.5 or 3 ounces of pistachios daily reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease by significantly reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. In addition, the higher daily dose reduced lipoprotein ratios.

While pistachios are packed with fiber, vitamins, and potassium, a mere half-ounce of pistachios (24 nuts) has approximately 85 calories. So, eat them sparingly, account for them in your daily caloric budget, or use them to replace high-calorie, high-fat foods like chips, which have about 150 calories per ounce.

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2/2/2012 02:48:05 AM Report Abuse

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