Eat Your Way to a Healthy Heart | Benefits Collaborative

Each February we focus on ways to improve our heart health in honor of American Heart Month. This year we want to help you by turning your attention to the foods you eat and how to make smart choices with our “This or That” challenge!

Below you will see two foods to choose between. Your goal is to choose the food that is the healthier option. Answers can be found at the end of the challenge.

Diet Soda vs Carbonated Water

Skip the drink with the high levels of artificial sweeteners and choose carbonated water! Diet drinks have been linked to symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Some symptoms of this include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and lower than normal HDL cholesterol levels. Pour yourself a glass of carbonated water and put a slice of fruit in your glass instead!

Butter vs Olive Oil

Pour on the olive oil to maintain good heart health. Butter is full of high amounts of saturated fat. Butter is also known to raise the bad cholesterol levels in your blood. Olive oil and even canola and sunflower oils contain heart healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats.

Sweet Potato Fries vs French Fries

Warm up your new Air Fryer and start cooking sweet potato fries with a little olive oil. French fries are full of fat and salt and a study linked eating 2-3 servings of fries a week to a higher chance of an early death.

1 oz Salted Nuts vs 1 oz Potato Chips

Pass the pecans, please! When you choose nuts over chips, you are also choosing your health. Regular nut snackers are 14% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease and 20% less likely to develop coronary heart disease.

1.5 oz Dark Chocolate vs 2 Chocolate Chip Cookies

No matter how much you love Grandma’s cookie recipe, your heart needs you to choose the dark chocolate. A study has found that those people who eat dark chocolate 3 times a week reduce their risk of a heart attack or stroke by 11%.

T-bone Steak vs Grilled Salmon Fillet

Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming! Salmon is chock full of omega 3 fatty acids which reduce fat in your blood and reduces clogged arteries. Steak is famous for high levels of saturated fat and LDL cholesterol.

Coca-Cola vs Red Wine

Pop the cork, not the soda tab. Carbonated sodas are full of artificial ingredients and sugar. Red wine has been shown to increase your good cholesterol levels and has many antioxidants that can help protect the lining of the blood vessels in your heart.

You are now a “This or That” Food Challenge winner! Go celebrate with a grilled salmon dinner, a glass of red wine, and a handful of dark chocolate!

Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/ss/slideshow-foods-bad-heart

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/5-hearthealthy-food-swaps

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/red-wine/art-20048281

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