(Family Features) Did you know that small, positive additions to your diet and lifestyle can help promote a healthier heart? Instead of denying yourself the delicious flavors you crave, try weaving a few subtle changes into your menu and you can healthfully and conveniently meet your wellness goals.
Show your heart some love
Besides giving meals a satisfying boost, soy-based foods are a heart-healthy addition to your diet. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a diet containing 25 grams of soy protein per day, accompanying other foods that are low in saturated fats and cholesterol, may decrease the chance of heart disease.
“Soy protein is a very high quality protein, equivalent to egg or milk protein,” said Mindy Kurzer, Ph.D. and professor with the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota. “Soyfoods, such as soymilk, have been shown to lower dietary cholesterol and saturated fat, decreasing blood cholesterol concentrations and improving heart health.”
Sprinkle soy into your diet, easily
Available in many delicious forms, soy-based foods and beverages make the swap towards healthier options a snap. Try some of these meal ideas to help you cut calories, saturated fat and cholesterol from your diet:
- Breakfast: Take on the day by enjoying a fruit and soymilk blended smoothie for breakfast. Soymilk is the only plant-based dairy alternative with an average of 7 grams of protein per serving plus calcium, potassium, and vitamins A and D.
- Lunch: Opt for a juicy veggie burger – easy to cook in just a few minutes. Or try this flavorful recipe for Tuna Edamame Salad, which allows you to take in all the healthy benefits of these young green soybeans with a quick and easy lunch. Did you know one cup of edamame contains 17 grams of protein?
- Snack: Throw a protein-packed nutrition bar in your car, bag or purse so you can have a healthy snack while running errands. (But read the label to make sure it contains soy protein and isn’t loaded with sugar.)
- Dinner: Load up on vegetables and protein with a tasty and easy stir fry using marinated tofu strips. Or cholesterol-free soy “crumbles” can quickly and easily be added to favorites including pasta sauce, soup, chili and tacos.
Tuna Edamame Salad
Prep time: 5 minutes
1 cup frozen shelled edamame, cooked according to package directions
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 can (6 ounces) tuna, water packed, drained
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup bottled, reduced-fat Italian salad dressing
Pita bread or whole grain crackers (optional)
Mix edamame, tomatoes, carrots, tuna, raisins and onion in medium bowl. Pour dressing over salad and toss until combined. Serve with pita bread halves or whole grain crackers.
Nutrition per 1 cup serving: 210 calories; 3 g fat (0 g saturated fat); 16 g protein; 27 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 25 mg cholesterol; 350 mg sodium.
Source: Soyfoods Association of North America