Registered dietitian, nutrition speaker, writer and counselor, Christine Palumbo joined me recently to discuss heart health month, and ways we can lower our cholesterol with diet, and prevent heart disease. If you're anything like me and are addicted to sugar, this is one you won't want to miss, as Christine shares ways we can become healthier and resist cravings!
Candace Rose: With February being heart health month, what are some of the best ways we can stay heart healthy?
Christine Palumbo: "Well, according to the CDC achieving a healthy lifestyle includes such things as cutting back on added sugars in both your foods and your beverages. If you imbibe in alcohol, moderation is key. Limit yourself to just one drink a day if you're a woman; and just two drinks, if you're a man."
Candace Rose: Do you have any tips for those of us who are addicted to sugar?
Christine Palumbo: "Well, you know, with sugar it's controversial whether or not there's a true addiction to sugar, but just from talking with my own clients I think that could very well be a reality, and I think just with a lot of things, if you can just take some small steps, and instead of completely cutting it out of your diet, cut down and instead of just eliminating find some substitutions in your life. So instead of eating cookies or candy, substitute and have some naturally occurring sugar such as berries. Berries are very sweet, they are delicious, and they are extremely satisfying. So, substitute and cut back on the sugary foods, and after a while you'll find that your palette changes after about two weeks. So if you get through those first two weeks, hopefully you'll have it made."
Candace Rose: How about when it comes to meal planning, how can we make a nutritious dinner everyone will love?
Christine Palumbo: "Well, that's a great question, because dinner is often times the only time when an entire family can get together, you know a great time to talk over your day. People, moms and dads are looking for nutritious choices that are easy, they're delicious and nutritious. I like pork tenderloin, and pork tenderloin is now certified with the iconic American Heart Association check mark, so you can be assured that it's a good healthy choice in the meat aisle. Here's a recipe for sauteed pork medallions in lemon garlic sauce; very easy to prepare with ingredients that you most likely already have in your kitchen. I know I do in mine. If you're looking for this recipe or other recipes you can go to PorkBeInspired.com or check them out on Facebook, and you can get not only recipes but a chance to win $50 worth or pork tenderloin."
Candace Rose: How about when it comes to lunch?
Christine Palumbo: "Well, you know, lunches. Everybody loves a sandwich for lunch, and the iconic lunch is a ham sandwich, but people are looking not only to cut back on fat, but they're looking to cut back on sodium. I really recommend Hillshire Farm Deli Select Ultra Thin Lower Sodium lunch meats. They also feature the American Heart Association check mark, and what's important is that not only are you cutting back on sodium, but you are not cutting back on taste. You don't have to compromise taste, and again I buy these, they're wonderful. And if I didn't know it was reduced sodium I wouldn't even know. It comes in four different varieties, there's a turkey; there's three different types of ham, including the smoked ham, and the turkey ham. There'll all good choices. If you're looking for more information or for some healthy recipes and inspiration, head to HillshireFarm.com."
Candace Rose: Planning a healthy breakfast is one of my downfalls, do you have any tips?
Christine Palumbo: "Well, the key is to start eating breakfast, Candace, because you'll find that once you start eating it, you will be hungry for it. And it is true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. One of the best things that you can do, and your viewers can do is to eat a protein rich breakfast, such as an egg breakfast. Research shows that a protein rich breakfast including eggs can actually lead to greater satiet during the day, and less cravings, so maybe that will help you with your sugar needs, and that can help with weight loss. Eggs are affordable, they're versatile, you can eat them for breakfast, as well as lunch, dinner, snacks. And here's something that you may not know, according to USDA data eggs are 14% lower in cholesterol, and 64% higher in vitamin D than previously reported. So you can make eggs in just a minute or so in the microwave on a busy morning; you can cook some eggs ahead of time, and have them to grab and go in the mornings. You can prepare them with an egg and cheese burrito; you can top a whole wheat English muffin with an egg, with little bit of cheese and maybe with a little piece of Canadian bacon. If you're looking for recipes, IncredibleEgg.org is the place to go."
Candace Rose: Do you have any tips when it comes to adopting an exercise plan we can actually stick with?
Christine Palumbo: "Well, instead of thinking of exercise as being a drudgery and a workout, how about thinking in terms of play. Make it fun for you. Find something or several somethings that you enjoy doing. We're talking woman to woman, a lot of women love to talk with their girlfriends. So maybe go for a walk, and talk with your girlfriend, rather than going out for coffee or go for lunch. If you have kids, you can turn on the music and dance with your children. They're having fun, you're being a good mentor to them, and you're getting some exercise at the same time. If you're watching television instead of laying on the couch; as a couch potato, get up during the commercials and jump on a little mini trampoline or march in place. Just get up and walk around the block when you have a few minutes, just try to find places where you can incorporate more physical activity into your day, and then find something that you love because you're more likely to stick with it."
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you'd like to share?
Christine Palumbo: "Sure. If you're looking for more information about what we've talked about today, I have a website that encompasses everything, and that is News2Know."