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.
Loaded Potato Skins
Macaroni and Cheese
Stuffed Baked Potato
Regardless of your reason to choose heart-healthier recipes and meals, these comfort food makeovers are sure to please. Only you will know that these dishes are easier on the arteries and the waistline--your taste buds will be none the wiser!
Note: Because the majority of our members are trying to lose weight, our heart-health guidelines are based on the same calorie guidelines we offer for weight loss. Entrees are under 350 calories, 3 grams saturated fat and 480 milligrams sodium. Combo meals, such as protein and starch or protein, starch and a vegetable, have slightly higher limits of up to 500 calories, 7 grams saturated fat and 600 milligrams of sodium. Sides clock in below 250 calories, 2 grams saturated fat, and 360 milligrams sodium.