Easy heart healthy meal swaps to start today

It’s easy to supercharge your meals and snacks for heart health, just make one small swap for a nutritionally balanced alternative. Maintaining good heart health with diet is all about small tweaks which will help improve your heart in a big way. These changes will help you benefit from slow-release energy, eat more cholesterol-lowering foods or have a more nutritionally balanced diet. Swap cereal for oats. Most pre-packaged cereals are crammed full of sugar, with little nutritional value. Make your own honey-sweetened granola or try porridge – oats are known to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Swap butter for olive oil? The debate of butter vs olive oil is still going on behind the scenes, with some saying butter might not be as bad as we think it is. There is also a lot of evidence for the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, rich in olives and olive oil, so we say, use extra virgin olive oil wherever possible! Lower your salt intake, with spices. Do you crave that extra kick of flavour from your meals? Experiment with spices in your food instead of piling on unhealthy levels of salt. Chilli, cumin and ground coriander are excellent places to start. Swap crisps for nuts. Nuts are a fantastic source of healthy fats as well as being a source of fibre and omega-3 fatty acids. Ditch the ready salted for a mixture of unsalted walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts, you can even toast them with spices for extra flavour. Make your chocolate darker. Finding it hard to give up chocolate? Substitute it for dark chocolate and you’ll lose a lot of the sugar and fat you get from flavoured milk chocolate. Want a healthy and sweet chocolate hit? Try our recipe for date cocoa energy truffles. Tomato sauces for cheesy sauces. If you’re using creamy and cheesy sauces for pasta, fish or meat, try swapping them for a tomato-based sauce. The lycopene in cooked tomatoes is excellent for artery health, and you don’t miss out on flavour either! Invest in a non-stick pan. Do you use a lot of fat when you cook? Try buying a new pan, a non-stick pan means you won’t need to add oil or butter when frying or cooking meat and vegetables. Swap for a sweet spud. We love sweet potatoes, they are packed full of vitamins and can be used in just the same way as an ordinary potato. They contain lots of potassium, which is beneficial for your heart, as well as iron, zinc, magnesium and fibre. They’re also a balanced source of energy, keeping you fuller for longer.

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