Weeks 3 & 4: Lowering Cholesterol Naturally using Nutrim: Moving Forward towards Healthy Lifestyle Changes

October 3, 2012 – My mom continues to have a great momentum with her Nutrim regimen.  She continues to experience peak energy levels regardless of small pitfalls like not making enough effort to increase her water in-take. Cecile continues to become creative in the kitchen with Nutrim as she introduces more of the oat beta glucan powder into her cooking.  Find out other ways my mom tried Nutrim this week by watching below!

Cecile’s Nutrim Benefits this Week:

While watching my mom go through her Nutrim challenge, I too have been striving to make small lifestyle changes to better adapt to the healthier culture of my company, FutureCeuticals.  I purchased a 32 oz., Green, Tritan- BPA-free water bottle. In the mornings, I fill it all the way to top keeping in my personal, daily goal of drinking at least 1-32 oz. bottle of water Monday through Friday.  If I succeed, it calculates to 160 oz. of water per week.  Why is it so much easier for me to adapt a change like drinking more water during the workday?  For the last couple of videos, we have heard my mom discuss her lack of success in drinking water.
Have you ever been faced with the challenge of needing to drink more water?  If you’ve succeeded, how did you do it?

My mom also mentioned mixing Nutrim with Farina along with adding a few tablespoons of sugar to create flavor.  In my opinion, adding the sugar could be counter-effective to lowering cholesterol naturally while taking Nutrim.  So I decided to ask my co-worker Joe (our local BioMedical Health expert), what my could mom could do to the Nutrim + Farina that can add some flavor without tipping the heart health scales.

Here is what Joe says regarding add-flavor dependency:

We all need to break free from our heavy dependence on sweet taste to offer enjoyment from food. This means cutting down on all sweeteners.  I like raw, unrefined honey and      maple syrup as good alternatives to adding refined sugar because they can offer some other benefits. Even evaporated cane juice crystals, brown sugar or turbinado sugar can be ok since they are not as refined. Stevia can also be used in combo with these other sweeteners to boost sweetness and cut out some sugar.

One main point and goal could be to start using less and less to get our palettes to readjust to the subtle flavors food offers. It has almost become a competition between companies to add salt, fat and sugar to food in order to make food taste good. The whole process happened slowly overtime, but now we depend on the sweet taste too much.  It ends up masking the other, subtle flavors in food. Slowly decreasing the addition of salt, fat, and sugar will help you readjust your palette, so that you won’t even miss as much to get the same enjoyment.

Got a question for Joe?  Call Customer Service at (800) 862-0438  Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m to speak with him!

Week 1: My Mother’s Journey to Lower Cholesterol Naturally with Nutrim

August 23, 2012 – Hello again!  Last week, I unveiled our very close and personal Nutrim Video Series by introducing you to my mother, Cecile.  She has graciously allowed us to record and publish her personal journey towards lowering her cholesterol naturally and achieving healthy weight loss and maintenance.

Pluses about her Nutrim experience so far are:

  • Transforming her butter into a healthier version using Nutrim (The grand-kids refer to it as Grandma’s “special butter”!)
  • No longer feels compelled to buy energy drinks to get through her work day.
  • More Energy, Feeling Better, NO AFTER-TASTE!! (“The greatest thing about this product!”)

Moving Toward a Healthy Lifestyle with Nutrim

I’ve probably watched this video at least 3 or 4 times since its original recording. What if you were watching my Nutrim journey?  How would one suggest I fit Nutrim into a schedule consisting of balancing a 40 hours/week job, online graduate work, a 6 year old participating in soccer, softball, and dance (all in the same fall season), managing a house, and maintaining a (sane) relationship with my husband.

Scheduling the Second Scoop

Like any new user, my mom spent much of her first week just making sure she got used to adding Nutrim into her schedule. Mixing the powder into her morning juice before work was easy enough.  But, 75% of my mother’s workday revolves around sitting in the car traveling back and forth to meetings.  What’s to stop her from grabbing a double cheeseburger at the drive-thru?

Nutrim Can Go Anywhere My Mom Goes

When I initially found out that on Wednesday of her first week my mom had a problem fitting in the second scoop, it made sense to recommend the Nutrim2go chewable tablets.  In the convenient chewable, tablet form Nutrim2Go can be taken anywhere-so my mom will never miss her second serving of oat beta glucan.  So now, during the workday, with her water bottle in tow, she chews 2 tablets every couple of hours eventually taking 8 tablets (One Serving of Nutrim = 1 Scoop of Powder OR 8 Nutrim2Go Tablets) becoming a sensible and doable plan for my mom.

How much does Marketing influence our Health?

A recent study about teens believing sports drinks are healthy really got me thinking. How much of our food choices are made because of clever marketing, especially marketing that would make us falsely believe something is healthy. And we are no different from teens.

It is surprising how much we take the food companies word for it. For example, I was reading a nutrition label for a multigrain cracker that was in our company’s break room. The first ingredient was whole wheat, which is a whole grain. A good start. But to find the next grain (not wheat) I had to skim to the fourth ingredient. To find the next real grain, not just a grain byproduct, I had to go 9 ingredients past the 2% or less ingredients. Literally they are sprinkling other grains over the top and claiming multigrain.

I wouldn’t have been so upset about the whole issue except they had this picture of a big wooden scoop with all these different grains pouring out of it. Great, now I’m all upset about it again. Give me just a second…

I guess it never ceases to amaze me to see all the tactics that are used to try and trick us into eating food that is not healthy, and by my personal standards, not even real food. These tactics are regularly being exposed, but before we figure out what tactics they are using they are already on to the next one. Some marketing tactics are here today and gone tomorrow, but some can linger on for years, even decades.

A great example is margarine. Most people can remember when margarine was not only promoted as healthier than butter, but they were so good at their message some people would have considered it a health food. Sometimes the issue is not only good marketing, but in this case the government backed the promotion of margarine. We now know that the partially hydrogenated oils that made up margarine are the most unhealthy oils you can put into your body. They are especially bad for heart disease, increasing bad cholesterol and decreasing good.

So if the junk food and fast food industries are pumping 10s of billions of dollars into marketing and sometimes getting government support to promote their unhealthy food than what are we to do? How can we possibly overcome such a huge deficit of misinformation. The answer is actually easier than you would think. We need to learn how to buy and eat real food.
The most basic step you can take is start reading labels. Stop believing the commercials and the marketing jargon on the front of the label. Go straight to the back of the label and read the ingredients. Avoid processed oils, grains, and sugars, as well as food additives and preservatives.
If you need a refresher on what real food is here is a fairly comprehensive list: beans (legumes), whole grains, nuts, seeds, whole fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy. If you spot one of these ingredients on your label than you have found something that contains real food. The question is how much of these real food ingredients are in there?

The only way to overcome false marketing is understand true ingredients. If you can’t understand the label, probably because the food companies don’t want you to, than you should just leave that food alone. Breaking free from sly marketing tactics will not happen overnight, but if you start to look to the source of truth- the ingredients label- than you are well on your way.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_103746.html

Prescription Fish Oil?

Matt walks in my office today and asks “Did you see the new commercial for the prescription fish oil.”  I had been on this companies website recently but until he came in I had forgotten all about it.  Our conversation got me thinking about the concept of a prescription fish oil.  For me it is a fairly mind-blowing concept.

So Why Prescription Fish Oil

You typically only see synthetic chemicals try to get approval as a prescription drug.  The main reason being that you can own a patent on a synthetic chemical.  It is expensive to get approval as a drug and you want to make sure you fully own the goods before spending all that money.   Your end product will have to be sold at astronomical margins to make back the original investment into the drug process.

For natural ingredients you can own the patent on processing but not on the ingredients.  That’s because you can’t patent something that is natural and already existed (that is of course unless you are Monsanto trying to get a monopoly on seed).  This is where it gets sticky.  If you don’t own the patent on the ingredient, other people can have that ingredient and boast similar properties to your now expensive raw material. 

This brings us back to our prescription fish oil.  Most of the research done on fish oil is for non pharmaceutical, regular old fish oil.  So if any one can sell fish oil and carry the same active ingredients as the ones found in the studies, then why all the work to become a pharmaceutical fish oil. 

Off-Label Prescriptions and Inflated Pricing

Two advantages I see for a company to do this: insurance coverage and doctor recommendations.  

When drugs are covered by pharmaceutical companies the real cost of the drug is hidden from most consumers.  I believe this is one reason why medical insurance rates and medical cost in general are through the roof.  We don’t pay when we get the prescription, but we pay plenty every month when we get our insurance bill.

The fact that it will be recommended by doctors could be a positive thing in some ways.  It is long past due for most doctors to recommend fish oil to their patients.  Only one problem here.  The prescription fish oil is only indicated for those with very high triglyceride levels.  That means most people that would benefit from fish oil aren’t really recommended to be prescribed this fish oil.

As a side note here I think there will be much confusion about when this fish oil should be prescribed.  Considering fish oil studies done on mood, brain function, healthy skin, joint health, and eye health did not use the prescription fish oil, it will be a stretch to recommend this form.  All of these uses would be considered off-label uses of the prescription fish oil.

Are There Any Advantages

So the last question you may have about prescription fish oil is the quality.  After all, purity and consistency are the main focus of most pharmaceutical companies.  The only problem here is when you are dealing with natural ingredients some of the procedures used to purify and concentrate may also destroy some of the beneficial properties.

Maybe I am just to grass roots or frugal but I am going to stick with good old health food store brands.  You can find a pure product without the pharmaceutical mark up.

You’ll Find This Ironic

One interesting final note.  The prescription fish oil Lovaza sold by GlaxoSmithKline was shown to increase LDL (bad) cholesterol 10%-46% from two separate studies.  The placebo group in both studies actually decreased LDL cholesterol.

PubMed Article

From Grain to Glucan

Food.  We all eat it.  We all love it.  It’s a vital part of our well-being, and in many ways, it is a part of identity and culture.  Food is important.  Food can even influence mood and outlook.  Food also usually has a story.  It may not sound exciting or interesting, but food has an adventure of its own, from its start to finish.  Nutrim takes a long journey from a little oat seed to a fine powder in a can or a chewable capsule.

It may be hard to understand, but the same powder that can help lower cholesterol, started in a field just like any other crop.

We strongly promote whole foods, those foods that are as class to their natural state as possible.  We suggest you use fresh garlic, rather than garlic salts and powders.  Try some real tarragon, rather than “Italian seasoning-flavored” mixes.  Use the real thing.  I’m sure this raises confusion as to Nutrim, and what it is.

Nutrim® is the easy way to supplement your diet with the Power of Oats.  It’s 100% oats.  It’s just cooked and ground down according to a USDA process.  And you won’t find another oat bran as pure and rich in oat beta glucan fiber as Nutrim.

So, next time you drink your 100% pure orange juice, think about the fact that several people worked long and hard to get that juice to you as safe, secure, and nutritional food.  Origin of food is an interesting topic, one that I love talking about.  Do you every stop to think about the fact that your whole wheat bread used to be a grain on a plant in a field somewhere?  Or the fact that your favorite soup comprises of several different products that had to be produced?

Part of the benefit of farmer’s markets is the face-to-face contact that buyers have with the people that worked directly with the product.  That’s an underestimated benefit in a fast-paced world like ours.

Food comes a long way from start to finish.  Are you well-versed in your food’s journey?  Check it out, you may end up finding out some useful information.

“De-Condense” Condensed Soups

I’m going through a stage in my life where eating on the go, or on a budget, it fairly common.  While it doesn’t necessarily have to be impossible to eat healthy during times like this, it can be tricky!  More than once, I’ve found myself rummaging through the pantry and cupboards, looking for something to microwave.  When all of my cabinets were stripped bare of edible goods, there always seemed to be one last food item clinging to safety at the very back:  condensed soup.  It hides in the shadows, waiting until I have a craving for some quick and heart chicken noodle, or until I’m in desperate need.

Let’s face it…there are very few condensed soups that are 100% satisfactory.  Either they’re very high in sodium or fat, or they’re low-sodium and they just don’t hit the taste buds quite the same.  Depending on which scenario fits your soup situation, there are ways to combat the problems presented by condensed soup.

Our first look is as “regular” soup…you know, the ones with all of the bad stuff like sodium and fat.  If it’s a brothy-type soup, it’s easy to thin out the sodium some.  Increase your water-to-broth ratio.  Strain out one-third to half of the broth (after adding the initial water) and replace with it water.  If you’re worried about it tasting watered down, add your own herbs and spices.  These can jazz up the taste without having all the sodium of the original broth composition.  Also, you can NEVER have too many veggies.  It’s easy to customize your soup.  A few sprigs of broccoli and a single sliced mushroom can really add flavor to a bowl of previously-unsatisfying soup!

Now, if you’re on the other end, with sodium-free or low-sodium soup, check out some options as far as seasonings go.  Potassium chloride is a salt-replacement that doctors often recommend for people who should not have sodium.  It tastes just as good as salt, but may not be a good option for everyone.  Herbs and spices can make a great addition to most soups, too.  As with the watered-down soup above, you can also add your own ingredients.  I like to add brown rice or barley to soup, and sliced up vegetables cook through well when microwaved with the soup.

Another note (and this is just based off of personal experience) is that the transition to low-sodium seems to go smoother for brothy-type soups.  Creamy soups are sometimes harder to add ingredients to, and the low-sodium versions aren’t always as versatile as those of other soups.  Also, cream soups are generally diluted with milk, which adds calcium but can be much fattier than water.

Who’d have thought something so simple as a condensed soup could be so complicated!

Don’t Pack on the Pounds at a Desk

I’ve had the opportunity to see two very distinctly-different career styles:  desk jobs, and tough manual labor jobs.  My father did manual labor his entire life.  From the time he married my mother in his early 20’s to his passing at age 46, he gained 5 lbs.  That’s all.  Millions of people around America wish they could maintain weight that well.  Dad’s secret was the amount of hard, physical labor he did.  You see, he worked in various areas of construction.  First, he was a roofer.  Then, he did general contracting.  Then, he helped run a heating and air conditioning company.  All of his jobs required a lot of hard, back-breaking work and a lot of unpleasant time out in the elements.  One of the big payoffs (other than providing for my mother, myself, and my 3 older siblings) was that he was always, always in great physical shape.

Then there’s me.  My job?  Sitting at a desk, sharing my thoughts with you lovely people (among other responsibilities).  I spend most of my days sitting at my desk.  There are plenty of stressful moments attached to my job.  There’s also those 3 o’clock slumps where it feels danged-near impossible to survive the rest of the work day.  Sometimes, eating feels like the only way to get away from my desk and shake myself out of a comatose state.

On the flip-side, I also help out on a farm.  I carry feed bags, drive tractors, and build fences.  (The guys get quite a kick out of little ol’ me getting down and dirty…I’m only 4’10”, I’m blonde, and I usually have well-manicured nails.)  So, compared to my weekends and evening tasks on the farm, my office job can seem fairly…sedentary.  So, I’ve forced myself to find some good ways to fight the “sit-on-your-butt-all-day-at-a-computer” bulge.

  1. If you must bring snacks, make them healthy.  Carrots, celery, and fruit all make great options.  My favorite (which gets weird looks) is plain Cheerios.  Just regular, oaty Cheerios.
  2. Instead of coffee, reach for tea.  Our break room always has a great selection of tea’s.  Some still have caffeine, and even if that’s not the best option health-wise, it can help wake up.  Lay off the sugar and heavy creams.  Most teas are naturally flavored, and don’t need additives.  In addition, tea’s are rich in antioxidants, which can be really helpful for heart health.
  3. Get up and move.  Instead of turning to food when you’re bored, go for a walk and clear your head.  Go down the hallway, around the office, or down the street.  Granted, this depends on the amount of break time and freedom you have, but a quick walk somewhere can really help jog your senses and fight monitor-hypnosis.
  4. Keep water with you.  It’s easier to ignore snacking urges if you take a sip of water every time you want to munch.  I keep mine in a stainless steel bottle; it keeps it cold, but doesn’t encourage contamination like some plastics will.  It’s also more environmentally friendly that one-time use bottles.  Besides, tons of water means a healthier body overall…and more bathroom breaks, which could be considered part of #3.
  5. Plan your snacks for the day.  Knowing what you can allow yourself as far as snacking goes creates more structure.  Promise yourself that you’ll only eat one of such-and-such at blank-o’clock.  Keep a schedule, follow it.

Gaining weight doesn’t need to be a side-effect of a desk job.  We can all be healthy, whether we work in an office or on a hot rooftop.

Heart Healthy Barbecue

 The sun is shining, the temperatures are rising.  Summer’s almost here.  Even as I type this, I’m sitting outside in the sunshine.  One thing that automatically comes to mind when summer kicks up is barbecues.  People are going to cook out, and have fun doing it.

I wanted to let you know, there are ways to enjoy cooking out without hurting your health.  You don’t have to give up the summer favorites like hot dogs and burgers.  A few tweaks can make a big difference.

Health Alternatives

First of all, look at the type of meat you’re cooking.  While many people worry about losing quality in their burgers, turkey or pork burgers can actually just as good, if not better.  I have plenty of experience with these white-meat burgers, and they’re delicious.  It’s easy to mix things up, too.  Finely-chopped vegetables, fresh herbs, and ground spices (salt-free) can easily be blended into these burgers, adding flavor and variety.  You can also marinate burgers in things like fruit juices and special mixes of water, herbs, and spices, for added juiciness and flavor.

There’s alternatives for hot dogs, too.  There are turkey and chicken-based dogs, as well as tofu dogs.  Like burgers, many people assume they won’t be as tasty as the original.  Even if they’re a little bit of a difference, they are still incredibly delicious.  You can find low-sodium condiments, too.

Avoid Steak

One of the biggest things to avoid here is one of the most savory:  steaks.  Unless you’re willing to go for a lower-grade cut with less marbling, it’s a safer bet to go with skinless white-meat chicken or pork chops.  These alternatives soak up flavor easily, though, so it’s not hard to find fun, interesting ways to prepare them.  They’re lower in the cholesterol that’s often associated with red meats, and still have plenty of healthy protein.  A great tip to reduce overeating is to butterfly your chicken breasts and pork chops.  This reduces cooking time because the actual cut is thinner, but also gives the impression of eating more by filling up more of the plate.

Lay Off the Sauce

Something to keep in mind is that summer-time barbecues often include barbecue sauce.  This tends to be a bad thing, since barbecue sauce is incredibly high in sodium and sometimes fat.  Both of these are worth avoiding for your heart health.  Instead, find healthy alternatives.  An olive oil and herb brush goes well on just about any meat.  On chicken, try a salsa made with citrus juice, ground pepper, tomatoes, and herbs.  There are so many possibilities to pull in natural, heart-healthy flavor, that there’s really no need to use all that harmful stuff.

Snacking With High Cholesterol

Apples and Peanut Butter

Apples are rich in natural fiber, and fiber is an absolute must in any healthy diet.  These colorful fruits can actually help lower cholesterol.  On top of that, the skin is rich in antioxidants.  Your choice of apple will change what antioxidants you can get out of it, since colors are a great indicator of the benefits.  Mix it up.  The more colors in your diet, the wider the variety of vitamins, minerals, and other antioxidants.  Apples also have a natural ability to clean teeth.  Peanut butter is a wonderful source of protein.  However, some peanut butters can be pretty high in fat.  If you can find a leaner or completely natural option, that would be best.

Carrot Sticks and Humus

Carrots pack a powerful punch when it comes to boosting your immune system.  They’re potent sources of Vitamin A, which improves your eyesight, helps your skin and strengthens your natural defenses.  In addition to Vitamin A, carrots have Vitamin C. Those two vitamins together give your immune system that extra pop it needs.  Also, Vitamin K is present, which helps to promote good texture and consistency of blood.  Add in the fiber that carrots bring, and it’s a wonder people don’t eat them more often.  Pairing them with humus not only gives them plenty of taste and texture, but even more benefits.  Humus, which is made from chickpeas, is loaded with fiber.  Chickpeas also have some protein.  This snack is quite the little kicker when it comes to benefits.

Whole Wheat Pita and Bean Dip

Pitas are naturally low in fat, and making sure they’re whole wheat means that they have fewer empty calories and more fiber.  Topping your whole wheat pita with bean dip brings in some great benefits.  Beans have protein and fiber, which are both necessary in a health meal plan.  Beans also bring iron and potassium, which are both necessary for blood health.  In fact, potassium helps counteract sodium in the bloodstream and maintains proper pH and salt levels in the body.

Trail Mix

Not only is this mix delicious, but it’s customizable.  Fit your trail mix to your tastes.  Depending on any variety of nuts, dry fruit, granola, dry yogurt, and other ingredients, you can have whatever blend of benefits you desire.  A lot of people like to mix their own, adding more or less of a specific ingredient to match their needs and tastes.  It’s not hard, and trail mixes often keep for quite a while, which means you can make a large amount at one time.

Almond Butter Health Bar

Like most nuts, almonds are very, very healthy in moderation.  They’re full of manganese, which supports bone and nerve health.  The best part of manganese is that it helps the body process fat and cholesterol.  While many people think almonds are tasty on their own, including them in snack bars is a great way to bring in more flavors and benefits.  Almond butter is also good a way to mix it up.

Homemade Baked Tortilla Chips with Salsa (Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions, Beans, Corn)

Baking your own tortilla chips is a good way to get the benefits of a corn product without all the salt and oil of processed commercial chips.  Corn is a source is dietary fiber, but also natural chemicals like folate, which is good for your skin and blood.  Your salsa is where most of the benefits come in, though.  Those tomatoes have lycopene, an antioxidant that’s very helpful for cellular health.  Lycopene also prevents some of cholesterol’s chemical reactions, which helps to reduce risks of atherosclerosis, or narrowing of the arteries.  The benefits of the peppers change depending on what type of pepper you use (based on color and species).  Onions are good sources of chromium, which helps to regulate cholesterol levels within the body.  Onions also have Vitamin C, for a healthy immune system.  Those beans are great for fiber and protein, both of which are valuable.  Tied all together, this can make one tasty snack.

Dried Fruit

Depending on your choices, the benefits of this snack vary.  Be sure to shop for fruit without sugar added, as the sweetened dried fruits are often high in fat.  Some dried fruits also have artificial flavors added, so try to avoid those.  As long as you go all-natural, this snack will be both tasty and beneficial.

Handful of Almonds

As stated above, almonds are a must-have for a healthy diet.  They’re especially necessary when the goal of a meal plan is to lower or maintain cholesterol levels.  Because they’re rich in manganese, they’re very beneficial for your heart health.  Almonds are also beneficial to bone and nerve health, as well.

Flavored, Roasted Soy Nuts

Soy nuts are a tasty way to receive the benefits of soy.  They are roasted soy beans, and their texture and taste are not too different from that of roasted peanuts.  Soy nuts come in a wide variety of flavors and go well in trail mixes and salads.  They are also a good snack on their own.  Soy is naturally rich in isoflavones.  Isoflavones have been proven to lower the risk of heart disease.  One thing to keep in mind with soy nuts, though, is that in excess they can be fattening.  In this case, too much of a good thing can be bad.

Nutrim Smoothie

Smoothies are a delicious way to bring the benefits of fruits into a busy lifestyle.  Adding Nutrim™ Oat Bran to a smoothie gives it that extra heart health boost.  Adding one scoop of Nutrim™ to natural unsweetened apple juice, a whole frozen banana, and 3 frozen strawberries is a delicious treat.  You won’t notice is the Nutrim™ taste, but you’ll receive all the advantages of heart healthy oat bran and a blend of fruit.

Flax Crackers

Flaxseed have a mild, nutty flavor that goes well with just about anything.  Creating crackers from these seeds is a great idea, since they’re so tasty and beneficial.  Flax products are potent in Omega 3 fatty acids, which are a must-have for lowering cholesterol.  They’re also rich in manganese and dietary fiber, which are both must-haves for a heart healthy meal plan.  Flax crackers can be served with just about any type of topping, and come in several different variations.  Salty, sweet, spicy, and tangy versions are all on the market.  If you want to be creative, try making your own.

Zonya’s Breakfast in a Cookie.  http://www.zonya.com/pdf/recipes/Breakfast_in_a_Cookie.pdf

These satisfying little creations are a must.  Each cookie is crammed with the hearty benefits of oats, oranges, flaxseed, whole wheat, canola oil, raisins, and nuts.  Zonya’s Breakfast in a Cookie is a delicious way to incorporate fruit, grains, nuts, seeds, and beneficial oils into one power-packed snack.  Even with the addition of eggs and sugar, this cookie can be a valuable and tasty tool for lowering your cholesterol.

What Are Some Good Foods to Eat for Healthy Cholesterol Levels?

Healthy Tips

High fiber vegetable source foods are best for a cholesterol lowering diet.  This includes beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.  In addition to fiber, all of these have natural phytochemicals (plant chemicals) which are beneficial to your heart health and your overall well-being.

Protein Sources

Use beans and whole grain recipes for dinner to substitute the protein you would normally get from animal meat.  This greatly reduces the amount of animal fat and cholesterol you take in, which is an automatic plus for your heart.  On top of that, both beans and whole grains are very fiber-rich.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Cold water fish like salmon and tuna, flax seeds, and walnuts are great sources of heart healthy Omega 3 fatty acids.  These natural fatty acids are proven to help lower cholesterol.  Keeping these foods in your diet are a must, but they should all be eaten with moderation.

Look for “Good” Fats

Utilize olive oil as one of your main sources of fat.  Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat, which means it is naturally good for your heart.  Avoid solid fats like butter and lard as often as possible, because they are saturated fats.  Saturated fats are often partially to blame for weight gain and high cholesterol.  Olive oil, however, has been proven to help lower cholesterol.

Avoid Salt

Spice it up with herbs and spices instead of salt and other sodium- or fat-rich seasonings.  Herbs and spices can be just as effective, and often give you a wider range of flavors.  There are countless combinations to pick from to fit any taste!

Be Smart About Dairy

Cut down on the amount of cheese you consume.  This can be a large source of saturated fat consumed in a day.  If you still want to include it, try going for fat-free or skim-milk options.  Normally, the difference between whole cheeses and low-fat options are small.

Be Smart About Processed Flours and Sugar

Eat less white flour and sugar, which can increase insulin secretion thereby increasing cholesterol production.  Whole grains are not only a source beneficial fiber as stated above, but are lower in harmful sugars and have less empty calories.  You get even more benefits for fewer drawbacks.

Learn how to make a healthier butter by mixing Nutrim with your butter.  Watch the video recipe available on our website by following this link  http://www.oathealth.com/video-recipes/heart_healthy_nutrim_butter .

Great snacks:

  •  carrots and humus
  •  any whole fruit
  •  black bean and corn salsa (loaded with beans and corn)
  •  unsalted trail mix with nuts, seeds, and dried fruits
  •  celery sticks and almond butter
Educate Yourself

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. It is also one of the main causes of death in Canada and is killing more and more people throughout the world.  Learning the ins and outs of this disease now can help you avoid major health problems down the road.

Dietary advice for reducing heart disease risk includes eating a balanced diet with less saturated fat from red meats, more fresh fruits and vegetables, more fish, less sugar, more fiber and for many people, fewer total calories. Then you can make your heart and the rest of your cardiovascular system even healthier by adding more of these foods:

Salmon

Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids that protect your heart by reducing both inflammation and the risk of blood clots. These fats also work to keep your cholesterol levels healthy along with lowering triglycerides. Eat salmon or other oily ocean fish like tuna, sardines or herring at least two times per week. For a heart-healthy meal, try grilled salmon steaks with a green vegetable and a side salad with a sprinkling of lemon juice instead of high-calorie salad dressing.

Olive Oil

Olive oil reduces your risk of heart disease by lowering your LDL cholesterol levels. Choose olive oil for cooking, or make a nice dip for whole grain bread by pouring a bit of olive oil in a small bowl and add a bit of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of oregano.

Oats

Oats contain a soluble fiber called beta glucan that helps reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Soluble fiber also helps keep your digestive system healthy. Enjoy oatmeal with just a small amount of brown sugar and plenty of strawberries and walnuts for breakfast. Cold cereals made with oats are also great with low-fat milk or soy milk plus slices of fresh fruit.

Apples

Apples contain a phytochemical called quercetin which acts as an antiinflammatory and will help prevent blood clots as well. Apples contain vitamins and fiber, come in several delicious varieties and are portable. Eat an apple with a handful of walnuts or almonds as a healthy snack or add apple slices to your healthy salads.  Apples are very versatile, and their fiber content helps to make them filling.

Almonds

Almonds and other nuts contain healthy oils, vitamin E and other substances that will help keep cholesterol levels in check. Almonds are also a good source of protein and fiber. Almonds make a great snack on their own, or sprinkle slivered almonds on green beans or asparagus with lemon juice as a deliciously healthy side dish.  The possibilities with the beneficial nut are practically endless.

Red Wine

Red wine contains a powerful antioxidant called resveratrol. Resveratrol has been shown to be good for your heart. Be sure to enjoy red wine in moderation.  While studies show that only 4 to 8 ounces of red wine is needed each day, it can be a healthy way to add elegance to a meal.

Whole Grains

Whole grains provide vitamins and fiber that will help to keep your heart healthy. Make a deliciously healthy sandwich with two slices of 100-percent whole-grain bread, three ounces of lean turkey breast, lots of sliced tomatoes and avocado, plus lettuce and a bit of low-fat mustard. Switch from white pasta to whole grain pasta too.  Whole grain pastas are just as versatile and delicious as white pastas, but the benefits are much higher.

Green Leafy Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables contain folate, which helps to keep homocysteine levels down, and vitamin E. Green leafy vegetables have also been associated with better retention of memory as age. Try using fresh spinach leaves or other greens for your favorite salad instead of iceberg lettuce.  Another benefit of these is that many of them are good sources of fiber, which is always good to incorporate in a healthy diet.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed with vitamins and lycopene, which has been shown to reduce heart disease risk. Add thick slices of tomatoes to sandwiches and salads or enjoy low-sodium tomato sauce on whole wheat pasta. In fact, cooked tomato sauce and canned tomato sauce that you buy in the store both contain more lycopene than raw tomatoes.  Be sure to try and find low-sodium options, though, because tomato products can often be very high in sodium.

Soy

Soy protein has been shown to prevent heart attacks and soy makes an excellent protein substitute for red meat, which will reduce your saturated fat intake. Add tofu to your favorite stir fry or pour soy milk on your morning cereal.  Soy is rich in isoflavones, which are very helpful in regulating cholesterol levels and improving heart health.  Soy is also very versatile, and can be eaten as meat replacement, in beverages, or as a snack in the form of soy nuts.