Nutrition Articles

15 Heart-Healthy Versions of Your Favorite Foods

Smart Swaps for Your Unhealthy Favorites

Whether you've been told you need to lower your blood pressure, improve your cholesterol levels, or just want to take preventative measures to protect your ticker, one of the first things you'll likely change is your diet. Heart-healthy diets are beneficial for weight loss and those who want to maintain good health, in addition to those who want to improve cardiovascular health. Lower in saturated fat, sodium and calories, with an emphasis on lean protein, whole grains and plenty of fruits and vegetables, a heart-healthy diet can even have room for all those favorite foods you thought you had to give up forever. By cooking comfort foods like hot wings, macaroni and cheese and Philly cheesesteak at home, you'll slash sodium and artery-clogging saturated fat while still indulging. Here are 15 of our favorite smart swaps (scroll below the infographic to get the recipes).

Want to see exactly how these recipes stack up against the unhealthy ones? Get the recipes--and the scoop on what you're really eating when you chow down on those unhealthy faves.
1 burger (patty only)
512 calories
22 g fat
1,914 mg sodium
Better Burgers
161 calories
1.5 g fat
276 mg sodium
1 calzone
1,020 calories
54 g fat
1,760 mg sodium
No-Guilt Grilled Veggie Calzones
240 calories
3 g fat
387 mg sodium
Cashew Chicken
1 standard takeout serving
654 calories
57 g fat
1,130 mg sodium
Slimmer Cashew Chicken
277 calories
7 g fat
486 mg sodium
Chili Fries
1 serving
300 calories
18 g fat
530 mg sodium
Cleaner Chili Cheese Fries
342 calories
12 g fat
436 mg sodium
Fettuccine Alfredo
1 "lunch" serving
800 calories
48 g fat
810 mg sodium
Guiltless Alfredo Pasta
344 calories
10 g fat
146 mg sodium
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About The Author

Stepfanie Romine Stepfanie Romine
A former newspaper reporter, Stepfanie now writes about nutrition, health, fitness and cooking. She is a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher who enjoys running, international travel and all kinds of vegetables. See all of Stepfanie's articles.

Member Comments

    Why make it so difficult to get the recipe? Your site is always like this. - 7/31/2015 7:33:46 PM
    Hasn't anyone at SparkPeople heard of seafood? - 2/18/2015 7:07:20 PM
    I just joined, so bear with me. I entered my beginning weight on 2/2 and lost 12 lbs the first week (yeah me) and 1.6 pounds this week. I entered my weight and I see the results on the graph. Is there somewhere that I can check the pounds lost (per week and altogether?) Thanks so much for your help.

    Ellencass - 2/16/2015 10:03:34 AM
  • CSPENCER1104
    My apologies Malkah. - 2/3/2015 3:57:07 PM
  • CSPENCER1104
    Problem solved,

    Under all of the of the photos you'll see a paragraph that reads " Want to see exactly how these recipes stack up against the unhealthy ones? Get the recipes--and the scoop on what you're really eating when you chow down on those unhealthy faves.

    The First one is "Burgers" on the left. "Better Burgers" on the right is cliackable. The clickable links open the recipes. There are two pages of them. So look on both pages and click the recipe title(s) on the right side.

    Click on ......
    Better Burgers
    161 calories
    1.5 g fat - 2/3/2015 3:55:21 PM
  • CSPENCER1104
    If "View the Article" were clickable, that would solve the problem. I think Malkah is dreamiung. - 2/3/2015 3:44:27 PM
  • I can't find the recipes either...I hope they magically appear and that I remember to check again... - 2/3/2015 12:05:47 PM
  • Can't view the recipes.
    - 2/1/2015 4:38:17 PM
    The recipes are at the end of all the pictures

    Malkah - 2/1/2015 1:01:14 PM
    It seems obvious that SP had a bit of a burp getting the click/view recipes to work. Things happen, so no harm. Just hope that at some point you can get this very same article to work, as I (and I am sure others) would really, really appreciate these recipes! Thanks, SP, for all of your help in my journey. In spite of a little hiccup here and there, I think your site is just the greatest and I recommend it to others all the time. - 2/1/2015 12:57:57 PM
    They look wonderful, but what good are they when we cannot view the recipes? - 2/1/2015 11:59:16 AM
    Could someone please tell me where to click to see the recipes - I can't find it. - 2/1/2015 9:48:24 AM
    I can't view the recipes?! - 2/1/2015 8:53:03 AM
  • I'd rather eat the full-fat real thing, but do so rarely. - 8/13/2014 9:47:26 AM
    These look so yummy - has anyone tried? I've shared this page with three friends already.

    @BTLINDSLEY: Curves is not a bad magazine/site for older women. I think. But remember the site is what you make it. Go ahead and start an "Over 70's Group" here on Sparks. Make your own challenges, get your own kind of support - it could be fun.

    I too would like Spark People to expand a bit more too - how about showing some people with some weight on them. All your pictures show skinny folks. - 2/18/2014 4:16:39 PM

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