Cardiologist explains what to eat for dinner and which foods to avoid for heart health

Doctors share their favorite heart-healthy options for the most important meal of the day. After taking care of other people’s hearts all day, cardiologists go home and take care of their own. A heart-healthy dinner is an important part of medicine.Most cardiologists try to practice what they preach, they say we also want to be healthy.

What people eat at dinner — and breakfast and breakfast and lunch — is the single top determinant of heart health, says Dr. Dariush Mozafarian, MD, cardiologist, professor of nutrition, and director of the Food Is Medicine Institute at Tufts University in Boston.
But dinner is much more than the biggest meal of the day.
“It’s a little peace, relaxation, and contemplation, says Mozafarian. It’s time for family time and to nurture yourself mentally and with the food you’re eating. ”
Given what cardiologists know about heart health, what’s in a dinner at the cardiologist’s home? Hayes and Mozaffarian share their favorite food and the principles that guide their food decisions.

Vegetables: Beans and greens

Julie is a pescatarian, meaning she enjoys fish but does not cook it at home due to her husband’s vegetarianism. Her diet mainly consists of beans, green vegetables, and tomatoes, which are prepared in various ways. Since the couple does not eat meat, beans are a protein-rich food. Julie’s husband can cook lentils or white beans, then add kale or other green vegetables, tomatoes, and a little feta. Julie loves pasta, but they aim to diversify their meals and limit dishes centered around solely carbohydrates, such as plain pasta made from white flour.

Another simple dinner might be gnocchi salad with tomatoes, avocado toast, and some green vegetables. Her husband likes to bake bread.

Cardiologist explains what to eat for dinner and which foods to avoid for heart health

Meals organized around colorful vegetables

I am  not a vegetarian, but he and his family plan each dinner around “delicious vegetables” and then consider fish, poultry or sometimes red meat to complement that.
Salmon tacos are a favorite meal. These are assembled from stone ground corn tortillas, shredded red cabbage, lemon, avocado and grilled salmon with plain yogurt or mayonnaise.
“Since the low-fat days, there has been this perception that mayonnaise is not ggod for health” doctors says. “It has a lot of healthy fats and eggs, so mayonnaise is not a bad food at all.”
Another regular dinner is eggplant stew, which consists of grilled eggplant, onions, tomatoes, saffron, lemon juice and grilled chicken. It is served with yogurt and a small salad of chopped cucumbers, tomatoes and red onions dressed with lemon juice and olive oil.
Her family also loves fall or winter vegetable soup with red lentils, roasted onions, zucchini, carrots, chopped spinach, tomatoes, and low-sodium vegetable broth. It can be eaten with curd on top and a small piece of sourdough bread.


Dessert Should be Part of the Menu

Dessert should be part of the menu

Dessert is often seen as an indulgence or a treat, but it can actually serve an important role in a dinner meal. Here are some reasons why dessert is important:

  •  Provides closure to the meal: Eating dessert at the end of a meal signals to the brain that the meal is complete, and it can be a satisfying way to end the eating experience. It also provides closure and helps to signal to the body that it’s time to stop eating.
  • Helps with portion control: Eating a small dessert first can help with portion control by making you feel fuller and reducing the amount of food you eat during the main course.
  •  Boosts mood: Desserts can be a source of pleasure and enjoyment, which can help boost mood and reduce stress.
  •  Encourages conversation: Serving a dessert can encourage conversation, interaction, and a convivial atmosphere among diners.
  •  Provides nutrients: Desserts can be made with nutrient-rich ingredients like fruits, nuts, and whole grains, which can provide important vitamins and minerals.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that desserts should be consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. Eating a huge serving of a decadent dessert can fill you up with unnecessary sugar and fat, leaving no room for healthy dinner foods like vegetables and lean proteins[4]. By choosing desserts that are lower in sugar and fat, or by making your own desserts with healthier ingredients, you can enjoy the benefits of dessert without overindulging.

Healthy-Heart dinner tips

what to eat for dinner

Cardiologists recommend several tips for making a heart-healthy dinner. These include:

  1. Cook at home: Preparing meals at home is generally healthier than eating out, as restaurant and supermarket foods are often high in unhealthy fats, salt, and sugar. Cooking at home allows you to control the ingredients and portion sizes of your meals.
  2. Plan your meals: Meal planning can help you avoid shortcuts that often lead to more processed foods. By planning ahead, you can ensure that you have healthy ingredients on hand and avoid the temptation to reach for convenience foods like frozen pizza or tater tots.
  3. Limit starches: Many American diets are high in bread and rice, which are simple carbohydrates that can spike blood sugar levels. Instead, focus on complex carbohydrates like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
  4. Don’t fear fat: Healthy fats from plant sources like nuts, avocados, and plant oils can be beneficial for heart health. Fish is also a good source of healthy fats.
  5. Watch portion sizes: Enjoying a small portion of a high-calorie food like cheesecake can be more satisfying than eating a larger portion of a low-fat or low-sugar version. By focusing on portion control and balancing high-calorie foods with vegetables and other healthy options, you can still enjoy your favorite foods while maintaining a heart-healthy diet.

By following these tips, you can create a heart-healthy dinner that is both delicious and nutritious.

disclaimer : this article is for information only claims no medical or clinical result.

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