April 5, 2010

A Lesson in Whole Grains

Posted in Heart disease tips, Helpful Heart Links, nutrition facts tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:29 pm by keepyourhearthealthy

Image from wikipedia

The National Dietary Guidelines and the American Heart Association both recommend people consume at least 3 to 5 ounces of whole grain a day in order to maintain a healthy diet.  What are whole grains then?  Whole grains are grains that still contain all the original parts such as the outer shell (bran) and inside part (germ).  Many grain foods and flours in the United States are refined to remove these healthy parts.  According to the American Heart Association website, studies have shown that regular consumption of whole grains reduces your risk of heart problems such as heart failure.

The problem is that whole grain foods are not always easy to identify!  Some cereal boxes are now listing their whole grains by amount in grams.  The recommendations though are listed in “ounce servings.”  The Nutrition Facts are not helpful either since Whole Grains are not listed as part of the label.  There is a tool through MyPyramid.gov that may aid in identifying the appropriate whole grain foods and number of ounces per serving.  The web address is: http://www.myfoodapedia.gov/ and it asks you to type in the name of a food (yes, even some brand name foods!).  If you type in Whole Wheat Pita you can see that a medium size pita counts towards 2 ounces of grains but also as 2 ounces of whole grain.  On the other hand, a medium piece of french bread counts towards 2 1/2 ounces of grains but zero whole grains.

You could also look for the Whole Grain Stamp but not even this method is as easy as it sounds!  There are 2 types of stamps: the Whole Grain Stamp and the 100% Whole Grain Stamp.  The regular Whole Grain Stamp means that the food contains at least 1/2 ounces of whole grain per serving.  If the food product has a 100% Whole Grain Stamp then it contains at least a full ounce of whole grain per serving.

March 16, 2010

Heart Healthy Parmesan, Chicken and Broccoli Recipe

Posted in Recipes tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 1:43 am by keepyourhearthealthy

From the Kraft Healthy Living website comes a great dinner recipe:

Parmesan, Chicken & Broccoli Pasta

4 oz. (1/4 of 16-oz. pkg.) whole wheat spaghetti, uncooked
1/4 cup KRAFT Light Zesty Italian Dressing
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
4 tsp. KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese
COOK spaghetti as directed on package.
MEANWHILE, heat dressing and garlic in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add chicken and broccoli; cook and stir 5 to 7 min. or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in tomatoes and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese; cook 1 to 2 min or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
DRAIN spaghetti; place on serving plate. Top with chicken mixture, remaining mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition (per serving)
Calories 480
Total fat 11g
Saturated fat 4.5g
Cholesterol 85mg
Sodium 840mg
Carbohydrate 52g
Dietary fiber 10g
Sugars 7g
Protein 45g
Vitamin A 60%DV
Vitamin C 60%DV
Calcium 60%DV
Iron 20%D

Check out the original recipe at http://brands.kraftfoods.com/diabetic/main.aspx?s=recipe&m=recipe/knet_recipe_display&recipe_id=92215

November 23, 2009

Heart Healthy Recipe Booklet

Posted in Helpful Heart Links, Recipes tagged , , , , , , at 2:34 am by keepyourhearthealthy

Mazola and the American Heart Association teamed up about a year ago to create a FREE heart-healthy recipe booklet. The recipes include:

Fish Tacos
Fiesta Black Beans and Corn
Beef Teriyaki Stir-Fry
Chicken Saltimbocca
Orange-Balsamic Barbecued Chicken
Peach Crumble
Herb-Crusted Turkey (or Chicken) Alfredo Pizza
Chicken and Sofrito with Yellow Rice
Cinnamon-Glazed Sweet Potato Wedges
Carrot-Apple Mini Muffins

I’m not sure how long the download will be available but currently the file is still there. Get your FREE download of this great recipe booklet at: