February is Heart Month
by Brenda Gibson
Pamela K. Matura, Executive Director, Area Agency on Aging District 7
February is American Heart Month and a good time to remember how important it is to promote good heart health not only for yourself, but also for those around you. Although you cannot change some risk factors like your family history, gender or age, you can make some better choices in order to promote a healthy heart. One of those changes can surround your diet. We found some really neat and smart snack and restaurant substitutions on the American Heart Association’s website at www.heart.org. Make an extra effort this month to lead a healthier life to promote positive aging and living!
When It Is Snack Time:
• Instead of fried tortilla chips, try the baked tortilla chips (reduced sodium version).
• Instead of regular potato or corn chips, try pretzels or low-fat potato chips (reduced sodium version).
• Rather than high-fat cookies and crackers, look to fat-free or low-fat cookies and crackers (such as graham crackers, rice cakes, fig and other fruit bars, ginger snaps and molasses cookies).
• Rather than regular baked goods, try cookies, cakes and pies made with unsaturated oil or soft margarines, egg whites or egg substitutes, and fat-free milk.
• Instead of devil’s food cake, try angel food cake.
• Replace ice cream bars with frozen fruit bars.
• Rather than pudding made with whole milk, have pudding made with fat-free or low-fat milk.
• Instead of ice cream, have sherbet, ice milk or frozen, fat-free or low-fat yogurt.
• In the morning, have a bagel or toast instead of a doughnut.
When Eating Out:
• Instead of cream-based soups, try broth-based soups with lots of vegetables.
• Rather than chicken wings, have peel-and-eat shrimp.
• Instead of bread, muffins and croissants, have melba toast, pita bread or whole-grain rolls.
• Have grilled chicken instead of fried chicken.
• Instead of French fries, have a baked potato, brown rice or steamed vegetables.
• Skip the gravy on your potatoes and go for the baked version. If you must have sour cream or margarine, ask for low-fat or fat-free versions on the side.
• Instead of creamy coleslaw, have sautéed or steamed vegetables and a tossed salad.
• Instead of ice cream or a hot fudge sundae for dessert, have non-fat yogurt, sherbet or fruit ice.
The Area Agency on Aging District 7 serves 10 counties in southern Ohio, providing home and community-based long-term care options for seniors and adults with disabilities. If you have questions about long-term care options or would like to learn more about the long-term care resources in your area for you or someone you know, simply give us a call. A trained nurse or social worker is ready to assist you on the phone Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm by calling us toll-free at 1-800-582-7277. We can answer any questions you may have and also provide an in-home assessment at no cost to discuss your available options in more detail.
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