Yoga mats, kale salads, fitness trackers, standing desks and gym memberships. It seems like everywhere you look, people are taking strides to get healthier. And with good reason.
In the U.S., 37.9 percent of adults aged 20 and older suffer from obesity, and heart disease accounts for one out of every four deaths. Despite these harrowing numbers, many people have difficulty embracing a heart-healthy lifestyle, especially when it comes to food.
Part of the reason for this is that too often people think that eating right involves a list of what you cannot eat.
It's easier to focus on all the things you can eat.
As February is American Heart Month, it's a perfect opportunity to consider how easy and delicious it is to stick to a heart-healthy diet.
Sometimes, at the end of the day you just want a quick meal. Unfortunately, most fast food options and restaurants don't offer heart-healthy options.
Fortunately, Sun Basket, a rapidly growing healthy meal kit service, has developed a recipe each week that meets the American Heart Association's(R) Heart-Check guidelines for a heart-healthy diet, and conveniently delivers them right to your door.
Sun Basket's Heart-Check certified recipes have undergone meticulous evaluation to ensure each recipe meets the American Heart Association's(R) strict nutrition guidelines for a main dish, with each serving having:
* No more than 500 calories
* No more than ≤ 3.5 grams of saturated fat
* No more than 600 mg of sodium
* A serving from at least two of the following food groups: Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs or nuts; fruits and vegetables; milk, yogurt or cheese; bread, cereal or pasta
* No added sugar and no trans fats
There's a widespread misconception that a heart-healthy diet involves giving up all meat and snacks and only eating kale and whole grains.
That's far from the truth. Many of the best cuts of meat are also ideal for a heart-healthy diet and can satisfy the most ardent carnivore. Pork tenderloin, skinless chicken and turkey breasts are naturally lean, while fatty fish, like salmon, trout and tuna, are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids.
As far as snacks go, it's really just a matter of embracing things like fresh fruit with low-fat yogurt, vegetables and hummus, or a savory mix of nuts like almonds, walnuts and pistachios.
The list goes on, but the point is that a heart-healthy diet doesn't have to be limiting; rather, it's full of delicious food.
Shopping is easy
So how do you know if something meets the nutritional standards you need to maintain a healthy heart? You don't need to be a nutritionist for this. Simply look for the American Heart Association's(R) iconic Heart-Check mark on food packages when you ship, and you'll instantly know it meets the Association's recommendations to be part of a healthy eating pattern.
Try it and see
Still not convinced about how delicious and easy it is to follow a heart-healthy diet? Check out this recipe for Sun Basket's Tandoori-style chicken with Bombay curried potatoes.
In your box you'll receive:
2 to 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
Tandoori spice blend
4 sprigs of fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
2/3 cup peas
1 1/2 ounces baby greens
1. Prep and cook the chicken
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Season generously with salt, pepper and the tandoori spice blend.
Place the chicken on a pan lined with foil and roast at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Halfway through, turn it over.
2. Prep the Bombay potatoes
Chop 3/4 cup of onions.
Scrub potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch by 1/2-inch pieces.
Coarsely chop the cilantro for garnish.
3. Cook the Bombay potatoes
In a large frying pan warm 2 to 3 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until starting to soften. Stir in the curry powder and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the potatoes, vegetable broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce to a vigorous simmer, cover and cook between five and seven minutes.
Uncover and cook until the liquid has thickened and the potatoes are tender.
Stir in the peas and cook for about two minutes.
Stir in the greens and cook until just wilted.
Transfer the chicken and Bombay potatoes to individual plates, garnish with the cilantro.
Serve and enjoy.
Eating right shouldn't be a chore. With Sun Basket's Heart-Check certified recipes, it's never been easier to enjoy a heart-healthy meal.