19/06/2024 12:49 AM

Desertridgems

Swing your Cooking

Plant-based diet leading to better heart health

“The focus should be what you’re incorporating in your diet and not necessarily what you’re taking out.”

It’s time to start loving those veggies.

The American Heart Association says new research links eating more plant-based foods to fewer heart attacks or cardiovascular disease.

Meat lovers, don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you have to go full vegetarian. 

Danielle Sanislow, a registered dietician at Tampa General Hospital explains, “the focus should be what you’re incorporating in your diet and not necessarily what you’re taking out.”

She says focus on adding good nutrients including “plant-based proteins being your beans, your nuts, your seeds, the dairy products, yogurt, cottage cheese, a glass of milk, which has 8 grams of protein.”

When it comes to your meats, Sanislow says fish is a good source of omega 3s and be mindful about the cuts of other meat.

“We want to choose the leaner of them. You want to look for maybe one that has a loin in it, those are generally your leaner cuts,” Sanislow said.

Parents, if you’re rolling your eyes thinking your kid is not going to buy into the changes, Sanislow says make them a part of the process in the kitchen.

“I always tell parents to get them in the kitchen, right? So let’s say we’re making a hamburger, we want to incorporate more of these plant-based foods. We can do mushrooms, we can do zucchini, you could switch to totally a plant based burger and do black beans,” she explained.

She says if your child likes mac-n-cheese or quesadillas, add some lean ground beef.

“Maybe black beans with a little bit of cheese and then you get that funky green in there for guacamole,” suggests Sanislow.

She says, “we’re fortunate these days that there are so many vegetarian pastas out there that are made of either vegetables or various legumes.”

According to Sanislow, if you’re cutting back on meat, “one of the big vitamins is B12 that we get from animal proteins, so we need to be careful that if we are going to completely eliminate animal proteins, that we’re getting enough B12 or reaching out to a dietician or maybe your healthcare provider, get a baseline level, see if you need a supplement.”