Heart-healthy pumpkin chili

Try this recipe for lunch on crisp fall days

pumpkin chili Blog

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!

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Video: Heart-healthy shopping at your local farmers market

Michigan ranks fourth in the nation in the number of markets

Now is the right time to visit your local farmers market for fresh, delicious produce.

Michigan ranks fourth in the nation in the number of farmers markets, so If there isn’t one in your community, you’re sure to find one in a nearby city or town.

University of Michigan Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Sarah Meyers points to just a few of the benefits of shopping at a farmers market:

  • Fresh, local, heart-healthy fruits and vegetables are readily available. Choose from apples, broccoli, squash and kale, just to name a few.
  • Making friends with your area farmers gives you opportunities to learn about how your food is grown. Farmers can also teach you how to pick and prepare the tastiest produce.
  • By shopping at your local market, you’re helping the environment by reducing shipping and processing costs.
  • Produce is often less expensive than store-bought versions, so you’ll save money.
  • What you spend at your farmers market goes directly to the farmers, so it stays in the community.

Shopping at your local farmers market is a win-win for everyone: You get fresh, tasty local produce, the environment benefits and the local economy grows.

Take the next step:

Frankel-informal-vertical-sigThe University of Michigan Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center is a top ranked heart and heart surgery program among Michigan hospitals. To learn more, visit our website at umcvc.org.

The Mediterranean diet: the gold standard for heart-healthy eating

May is National Mediterranean Diet Month

mediterranean Blog

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.

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Video: Healthy fats pack lots of nutrition

Watch your portions--healthy fats high in calories too

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.


University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center Logo - blueThe 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.


Video: A heart-healthy plate

Change how your food-filled plate looks for healthier eating

Divide your plate into heart-healthy food sections

Heart-healthy eating begins with changing the proportions of foods on your plate and expanding the variety in your choices, says Joyce Patterson, University of Michigan registered dietitian.

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