Like it or not, the leaves are falling. And, for many, that means spending weekends outside with rake in hand. When lunchtime rolls around, there’s nothing like a hot bowl of protein-packed chili to warm you up and replenish your energy.
This season, switch it up by adding a distinctly different taste to your chili: pumpkin. This simple pumpkin chili recipe will keep you warm and energized, and it’s heart healthy, too!
Extra virgin olive oil in the diet has been shown to reduce cardiovascular disease
Are you looking for the most “heart-healthy” meal plan?
For years, the recommended diet to prevent heart disease was a low-fat diet. Then, as research began to reveal the negative effects of sugar and refined carbohydrates — often included in low-fat meals — many people turned to a low-carb diet. But low-carb does not necessarily mean “healthy.”
Now, more and more evidence points to a traditional Mediterranean meal plan as one of the healthiest eating patterns. A study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (2/25/2013), shows that a Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease by 30 percent in people at high risk for heart disease.
Fats are essential in our diet. They help us feel satisfied with our meals and add flavor to our foods. Consuming certain fats as part of a balanced diet can actually help lower cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugars and reduce inflammation.
Sarah Meyers, a University of Michigan registered dietitian, describes the types of healthy fats that provide these important health benefits, including:
Monounsaturated fats: Found in olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, avocados, olives, nut butters and nuts (including almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans and cashews).
Polyunsaturated fats: Found in soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, certain seeds (sunflower, sesame, pumpkin and flax) as well as in fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout and sardines), soymilk and tofu.
Omega 3 fats (a type of polyunsaturated fat): Found in fatty fish, such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, or sardines, or in high-quality cold-water fish oil supplements, as well as in walnuts, flaxseed and canola oil.
Although all these fats are healthy for the heart, Meyers warns that they are also high in calories, so be mindful of your portions.
The University of Michigan Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center is the top ranked heart and heart surgery program among Michigan hospitals. To learn more, visit our website at umcvc.org.
NOTICE: Except where otherwise noted, all articles are published under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. You are free to copy, distribute, adapt, transmit, or make commercial use of this work as long as you attribute the University of Michigan Health System as the original creator and include a link to this article.