Category Archives: Heart Health

4 Things Every Man Should Know About Their Heart Health

Blog Header 02_19_19 Copy 5Good nutrition and lifestyle play big roles in keeping your heart healthy. You can decrease your risk of heart disease by making smart food choices. Fill up on fiber-rich whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans and lentils. Choose plant-based fats, such as avocado, nuts, seeds and olive oil, instead of animal-based fats such as butter. Read on to learn more about how to protect your heart for life.

Fruits and Vegetables Matter

Eat less fatty meats and more plant-based foods, such as vegetables and legumes. Not only are fruits and vegetables low in calories and high in fiber and antioxidants, they can help keep blood pressure in check. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. What makes fruits and veggies so good? They are packed with potassium, a mineral that has been shown to lower blood pressure in clinical studies.

Aim for 4,700 milligrams of potassium every day for good blood pressure. That’s at least 2 cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables daily. The best picks are tomatoes, leafy greens, potatoes, bananas and squash.

Fat Matters for the Heart

The amount and type of fat you eat makes a difference. Research shows eating too much saturated fat is not good for the heart. Foods such as bacon, red meat, butter and ice cream contain saturated fat. You also should avoid trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils. These fats can clog arteries and raise cholesterol levels. Trans fats are found in commercial baked goods and fried foods.

Unsaturated fat has been found to be beneficial for overall cardiovascular health. Foods including olive oil, canola oil, avocados, walnuts and almonds contain unsaturated fat, and help cholesterol levels by raising “good” HDL cholesterol and lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Omega-3 fatty-acids, a type of unsaturated fat, have been found to be helpful in preventing sudden death from heart attacks. Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and herring, contain two types of omega-3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). The recommended intake for omega-3 fatty acids is 500 milligrams per day. That’s about two 6-ounce servings of fatty fish per week.

Another type of omega-3 fat, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) provides cardiac benefits. Flaxseeds and walnuts contain ALA. Eat 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed or 1 ounce (about a handful) of walnuts each day for heart health.

Exercise Does the Heart Good

Aim for at least 30 to 60 minutes of regular, aerobic exercise most days of the week. Simple activities make a difference. This includes walking, jogging, biking and dancing. Participate in strength training, such as weightlifting, at least two to three times per week. Remember to incorporate balance and flexibility exercises, too.

Prioritize Stress Management

Even if you eat right and exercise regularly, poorly managed stress can wreak havoc on your health. Getting enough sleep, practicing relaxation techniques and nurturing relationships are healthy habits that can help protect you from the harmful effects of stress.

Source: Taylor Wolfram, MS, RDN, LDN, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics


If you need a little extra help trying to live a heart healthy lifestyle, let Fresh ‘N Fit’s chef prepared meals make it easy for you. Adhering to the healthy eating guidelines of the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association and the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, our meals are made fresh every week using locally sourced ingredients.

Try our meals in Heart Health month and get $20 off your first order when you use promo code  BLOGFEB1509 at checkout.

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Heart Health Month: Identifying The Risk Factors Of Heart Disease

By: Julia Lott, MS, RD, LD Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine
February is heart health month so over the next few weeks we’ll be giving you helpful suggestions and information on how to live a heart healthy lifestyle. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women in the United States. There are numerous conditions that can increase your risk of heart disease. Many of these conditions are controllable and can greatly reduce the possibility of heart disease.

Diabetes

Uncontrolled diabetes can cause a build up of sugar in the blood. Also, with a buildup of glucose in the body, blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart and blood vessels can be damaged. People with diabetes tend to develop heart disease at a younger age than those without diabetes. 

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure or hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease.  It occurs when the pressure in the blood vessels and arteries is too high.  When high blood pressure is not controlled, it not only affects the heart, but it can also damage other major organs of the body, such as the kidneys and brain. 

High Cholesterol

Cholesterol can build up on the walls of the arteries and those of the heart.  As a result, plaque build up and atherosclerosis can occur.  This causes decrease blood flow to the heart and other parts of the body.

Physical Inactivity

Not getting enough exercise or physical activity can lead to heart disease.  Physical activity reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and reduces likelihood of developing chronic diseases.  Try to exercise at least 30 minutes every day.

Many forms of heart disease are preventable with healthy lifestyle choices.  In addition to receiving various benefits from regular physical activity, eating the right foods can help prevent heart disease. 

Choosing foods that are low in sodium, fat and cholesterol can put you on the right track. If you’re not sure about what foods to eat or don’t have to time to prepare your own healthy meals, Fresh n’ Fit Cuisine can help.  There are over 300 meals to choose from on 7 different menus, so you will never get bored of eating healthy.

Get $20 off your first order when you use promo code FEBBLOG20 at checkout.


Shake The Habit: How To Lower Your Sodium Intake

By: Julia Lott, MS, RD, LD Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine
The average person eats more than 3,400 mg of sodium a day. However, the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends having 2,300 mg a day.  According to the American Heart Association, 70% of the sodium Americans eat comes from packaged, prepared and restaurant foods, not from table salt.  Excess sodium intake could lead to serious medication condition such as heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. Here are a few simple ways to low your sodium intake:

Read the Label

Packaged foods can be loaded with sodium; even foods that you would least expect to have it. Surprisingly, breakfast cereal can be loaded with sodium.  Also, look for “no salt added” labels. This means that no salt was added during processing.

Spice It Up

Who says low sodium food has to taste bland? Instead of using salt when you prepare meals, try experimenting with herbs and spices to flavor your food.  Who knows you may discover a spice that you’ve never tried before and like it.  There’s a plethora of herbs a spices to choose. A few of my favorites include:  coriander, nutmeg, parsley, cumin, cilantro, ginger, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, bay leaf, oregano, dry mustard and dill.

Snack Foods

Snack foods like pretzels, crackers, and chips can have several hundred milligrams of sodium per serving. When choosing a low sodium snack, try fresh fruit, unsalted trail mix, Greek yogurt or raw veggies. 

No Salt Please

Typically restaurant food is outrageously high in sodium. Before going out to eat, check out the menu and nutrition info online. This way you’ll have an idea of some good choices before you sit down. Also, you can request for no salt to be added to your food and sauces on the side. Even following a few simple tips on sodium, can make a big difference when it comes to developing serious conditions likes heart disease and hypertension.  Becoming knowledgeable about where the sodium is coming from and how to reduce it will greatly impact overall health.


Maintaining a healthy weight, being active, watching your sugar and sodium levels are all things that we would like to do more in 2019. Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine’s chef prepared meals adhere to the healthy eating guidelines of the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association and the Academy of Nutrition& Dietetics.

Our 7 menus that include Low CarbPaleoKetoGluten Free and more. If you place your order before our 9am, Friday cutoff time, you’ll get 10% off your first order when you use promo code LOWSUGAR10 at checkout.

Heart Health for Women

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Heart disease is the leading cause of death in American women. Diet, lifestyle choices and a few other key factors play a big role in a wide range of heart conditions. Take care of your heart by choosing the right foods to promote overall health.

Fruits and Vegetables Matter

When it comes to loading your plate, fruits and vegetables are where it’s at. Not only are they low in calories and high in dietary fiber and antioxidants, they also can help keep blood pressure in check. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. What makes fruits and vegetables so good? They are packed with potassium, a mineral that has been shown to lower blood pressure in clinical studies.

For most adults, aiming for at least 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables daily, is a good way to make sure you’re meeting your potassium goals. Plus, research has shown that fruit and vegetable intake is associated with a reduced risk for many chronic diseases, including heart disease..

Fat Matters for the Heart

The type of fat you eat also makes a difference. According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a healthy eating plan can contain up to 35 percent of total calories from fat. However, less than 10 percent should come from saturated fat.

A diet high in saturated fat may increase the risk for heart disease. Foods such as bacon, sausages, fatty meats, butter, ice cream and other full-fat dairy foods can be high in saturated fat.

Replacing sources of saturated fat with unsaturated fats has been shown to be beneficial in reducing “bad” cholesterol levels and may help lower the risk for heart disease. Foods such as olive oil, canola oil, avocados, nuts and seeds contain unsaturated fat.

Omega-3 fatty acids are a special type of unsaturated fat commonly found in fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and herring. They also are found in walnuts and flaxseed. Fish is a good source of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), whereas nuts and seeds contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Because these foods contain different types of omega-3 fatty acids, it is good to include a variety in the diet.

Slow and Steady Weight Loss for Heart Health

If your body mass index is considered to be overweight or obese, gradual weight loss offers the best results for overall health. Even a 5 to 10 percent loss in body weight can help reduce blood pressure and lead to other improvements in health. Regular physical activity also can be beneficial. Get at least 30 minutes of regular activity most days of the week. More moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity may be required for weight loss, so be sure to check with your physician before starting an exercise program.

Other Risk Factors

While you can change what you eat and whether you are physically active, there are some risk factors for heart disease you cannot change. These include:

  • Aging: The risk for heart disease increases with age.
  • Family History: Having a close blood relative, such as a parent or sibling, with heart disease increases your risk of having heart disease.
  • Race: Black women have a higher risk of heart disease and stroke than white women.
  • Previous Heart Attack: A history for past heart attacks increases the odds of having more in the future.

Source: Sarah Klemm, RD, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics


Need help with preparing meals for a heart healthy diet? Let the chefs at Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine do the work for you. Our macro-based menus adhere to the healthy eating guidelines of the American Diabetic Association, the American Heart Association as well as the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.

Give us a try and get $20 off your first order with promo code HEALTHYHEART20 at checkout.

What It Means To Live A Heart Healthy Life

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By Julia Lott, MS RD LD, Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.  Fortunately, many of the factors that contribute to heart disease can be controlled, such as nutrition and exercise.  Furthermore, stress in your life can increase risk tremendously.    The only causes of heart disease that can’t be controlled are age, gender, and family history.

So what does it mean to live a heart healthy life?  When it comes to nutrition, it means consuming low fat, low sodium, and low sugar foods.  A simple way to consume low fat foods is by having a diet that consists of lots of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and non-fat or lower fat dairy items.  Additionally, consuming healthy fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can contribute to improved heart health.  Foods that contain healthy fats are fish, avocados, and nuts.

One major cause of heart disease is consuming a high sodium diet.  According to the American Heart Association, approximately 77% of the sodium we consume is from packaged, prepared and restaurant foods.  One way to decrease sodium in your diet is by making most of your food at home.  Use as little salt as possible when cooking and preparing food, but do not have it on the table.  Or even better, season food with herbs, spices, onions, peppers, and garlic instead of salt.

There has been a lot of buzz around sugar and heart health.  According to a study by the Journal of the American Medicine Association Risk, death from heart disease is increased when consuming a sugar rich diet, regardless of age, BMI, sex, and physical activity level.  Participants who took in more than 25% of their calories from sugar were more than twice as likely to die from heart disease as those that include less than 10% added sugar in their diet.  Many sources of added sugar come from sodas, pastries, ready to eat cereals, and alcoholic beverages.  Opting for sugar free soda, soda water, and fruit and vegetables without added sugar will help to decrease sugar intake.

Another way to improve heart health is to increase consumption of fiber rich foods.   Fiber can help lower blood pressure, decrease cholesterol levels, as well as may reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.  There are two types of fiber – soluble and insoluble.  Good sources of soluble fiber are beans, oats, peas, barley, fruits and avocados.   Insoluble fiber is found in whole grains, nuts, and fruit and vegetables.  It is the rough matter found in the foods and it is not broken down by water and absorbed into the bloodstream.  Instead it adds bulk to waste in the digestive system; which helps regularity and prevent constipation.   Furthermore, according to a research study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, consuming more dietary fiber over a 9 year period lowered the risk of death from any cause.  People who ate a fiber rich diet had a 50 % reduction in in risk of death from heart disease, infectious disease and respiratory disease.

So what does all this really mean to you?  Your health is in your hands!  All the contributing causes that lead to heart disease can be controlled by being mindful and knowledgeable about your food and lifestyle choices.  If you haven’t already, take charge of your heart’s health and make a change to live a long heart healthy life!


Try some of our clean, healthy, chef-prepared meals for Heart Health month and get $20 off your first order when you use promo code FEB20OFFBLOG at checkout.

 

Heart Health And Diet

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Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. About 92 million people in the United States have some form of heart/cardiovascular disease — that’s about 29 percent of the population. Many of these deaths and risk factors are preventable, and food choices have a big impact on your heart’s health, even if you have other risk factors.

Only a few risk factors, such as age, gender and family history, cannot be controlled. You can prevent and control many risk factors of heart disease, such as high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure with lifestyle changes and medications.

Lifestyle Changes

A healthy lifestyle — following a healthy eating plan, maintaining a healthy weight, regular physical activity, quitting smoking and managing stress — can lower your risk for heart disease and may prevent current heart disease from worsening.

A Heart-Healthy Diet

To lower your risk of heart disease, follow these recommendations directly from the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans:

  1. “Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan.”
  2. “Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount.”
  3. “Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake.”
  4. “Shift to healthier food and beverage choices.”
  5. “Support healthy eating patterns for all.”

If you are at high risk for heart disease or already have heart disease, your first step should be to meet with a registered dietitian nutritionist. Together with your health-care provider, your RDN can help you lower your risk or improve your existing condition by developing a personalized eating and lifestyle plan.

Source: Taylor Wolfram, Academy of Dietetics & Nutrition


Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine’s Healthy Mix and Vegetarian meals adhere to the healthy eating guidelines of the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.

And now that we offer free nutrition coaching and support, Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine makes it easier for you to eat healthy in the new year.

Use promo code JANBLOG10 to save 10% off your first order at checkout.

Incorporating Healthy Fats Into Your Diet

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Fat is a nutrient necessary for your health. While various fats in foods have different effects on health, some fats offer health-protective benefits. Consider including foods with these fats, in moderation, to your meals.

Omega-3 Fats

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid that may help lower cholesterol levels and support heart health.

What to Eat

Fatty Fish: Current dietary recommendations are to include fish in your meals at least twice per week. Fish high in omega-3 fats are salmon, albacore tuna (fresh and canned), sardines, lake trout and mackerel.

Walnuts: Walnuts are an excellent plant-based source of omega-3. Add walnuts to cereal, salads or muffins. Try walnut oil in salad dressings and sautés, too.

Oils: Replace solid fats such as butter or margarine with oils such as canola and soybean when cooking or baking. It works well for sautéing and stir-frying.

Flaxseed: Add ground flaxseed to breakfast cereal, yogurt, baked goods including breads and muffins or mixed dishes and casseroles. Or, drizzle flaxseed oil over quinoa or use it for salad dressing. (Your body cannot break down whole flaxseeds to access the omega-3-containing oil.)

Eggs: Some chickens are given feed that is high in omega-3s so their eggs will contain more as well. When buying eggs, check the package label.

Monounsaturated Fats

Monounsaturated fats improve blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease.

What to Eat

Nuts: In addition to heart-healthy fats, nuts are a good source of protein, fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Just keep portion control in mind. One portion of nuts is equal to 1 ounce or ⅓ cup and provides approximately 160 to 180 calories.

Oils: Use oils like olive oil in place of saturated fat, such as butter. Use it in salad dressing or to sauté vegetables, seafood, poultry and meat.

Avocado: Avocados not only contain monounsaturated fat, but they are also packed with folate, vitamins E, C and B6, potassium and fiber. Try adding avocado to salad, pizza, soup, salsa, eggs and sandwiches.

Peanut Butter: Nearly half the fat in peanut butter is monounsaturated fat. Resist the urge to pour off the heart-healthy oil that’s separated out of natural peanut butter, and mix it in.

Source: Taylor Wolfram, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics


At Fresh ‘N Fit Cuisine, we believe a nutritionally balanced diet along with regular exercise is key to living a healthy life. Our chefs are determined to prepare you food that is nutrient rich as well as a good source of healthy fats.

Try one of our 5 gourmet menus today or try a few individual meals with our a la carte option today and get $20 off your first order of $50 or more with promo code MARBLOG20 at checkout.

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