Instead of downing some chips … try some edamame beans sprinkled with freshly ground sea salt or other coarse salt. Need an easy way to fix some edamane beans? Here’s a quick way to fix a snack of edamame beans:
- Place a bag of shelled edamame (green soybeans) in a 1-1/2 quart microwave safe dish. Cover with plastic wrap and cook on high for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove dish from microwave and let stand for one minute. Sprinkle with coarse salt and enjoy. OK, they don’t have the same crunch as chips, but you’re heart will thank you … and these little beans are so healthy you can actually eat a few more than a serving size without any trouble!
Yogurt is another wonderfully healthy food, but manufacturers have made it unhealthy with all the additive, sugars, and other nasties. I buy (I used to make my own and perhaps I need to go back to doing that!) plain, unadulterated yogurt - watch the ingredients to make sure you know what you’re getting. I scoop the whole container into a larger bowl, add a few drops of pure vanilla and a few drops of liquid Stevia (available at health food stores and you have a wonderful vanilla yogurt. Cut up some fresh fruit, or canned if that’s all you have, return it to it’s container … or two and enjoy.
Granola … again, manufacturers have played into the health craze by providing us with the wonders of granola. But wait … oats, as a rule are rather bitter and the only way to make it palatable is to add sugar … and lots of it. I found a great granola at my local grocery. It’s called Bear Naked Fit Vanilla Almond Crunch and it sports a mere 4g of sugar, only 2.5g of fat, no saturated fat, 2g of fiber, 4g of protein and no artificial flavors, no cholesterol, ho hydrogenated oils, no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial preservatives and no trans fat … a great way to top your yogurt!
- Popsicles? Try fruit ones or make your own.
- Ice cream? Try sorbet.
- Eat white rice? Try introducing brown rice … you can cook both white rice and brown rice (in two pans, brown rice will take longer) and mix them together until you and/or your family can make the switch to brown rice.
- The peanut butter offerings are getting better. Many are lower in fat, salt, and sugar. Just read the labels to find the one that best suits your family. My family likes most any peanut butter if it has a brown top … I guess brown means ‘healthy’??
- Replace soft and squishy white bread with hearty whole wheat breads. If you or your family aren’t used to whole wheat bread … and I mean the real stuff not the soft-to-the-squeeze light brown colored bread … try toasting it. I have an obsession to jams, but only the good stuff. Again, watch your ingredients and nutritional analysis … sugar should not be the first ingredient. Personally, my current favorite is Polander’s All-Fruit with fiber jam … it’s wonderful.
- Let's talk about eggs ... not all eggs are created equal and if your cholesterol is too high it is likely you've been told to reduce the number of eggs you eat. While that's true to a point, selecting a good quality egg is also important. Look at the nutritional analysis and you might be surprised. Organic, vegetarian fed chickens will produce an egg with less cholesterol than one caged and fed other types of feed. Do they cost more? Of course. Seems like healthier food does. You can also buy egg whites to use in baking, etc. .... no cholesterol at all and you still have the binding eggs provide for baked goods.
So, there you have it … little ways to make a huge difference in your heart’s health.