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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

  • 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
    Thanks to NOSENCE.. I subscribe to 2 magazines; however, they both seem to "cater" to svelte, young (to me, at least) women. I was glad to read NOSENCE is 83. I will be 79 this year (in birth years, much younger than that in attitude). I wish I could find a magazine that would cater to a little older group.
    - 2/18/2014 12:59:03 PM
    I love your suggestions and recipes. PLEASE post the carbs that cause fat, especially for diabetics who wish to follow your posts! - 2/18/2014 11:54:57 AM
    Two of my daughter's recommended that I try this program even though I am 83yrs old! - 2/13/2014 12:16:09 PM

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