Meat and the Healthy Heart

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While many people are changing their diets because they want to eat healthier, there are many other people who have to change their diet in order to maintain the healthiest heart possible. For some this is easy but, for those “steak and potato” people the thought of cutting so much meat from their diet is almost impossible. The truth is while you do have to cut saturated meat from your diet, which means cutting down on red meat, there are still plenty of meat meals you can enjoy.

Skinless Chicken or Turkey Breasts

The white meat of chicken is actually quite low in saturated fats especially when the skin is removed. It can also provide meat eaters with a sense of having the protein they crave without feeling meat deprived. However, that doesn’t mean that you deep fry those chicken breasts and expect to cut out the saturated fat from your diet. Baked or broiled chicken or turkey breasts is the best choice. To add flavor to the meat, baste it with chicken or turkey broth and consider trying different non sodium seasonings like cumin, turmeric and other spices. You might just be surprised at how good chicken and turkey can taste.

Buffalo and Venison

While you aren’t likely to find buffalo and venison in most grocery stores, there are specialty stores that carry this type of meat and believe it or not both buffalo and venison are low in saturated fat and will fulfil that craving for good old red meat. Both of these meats are good roasted or grilled and can be used in casseroles and soups as well.

Is Fish A Meat?

While there is actually some debate about whether or not fish is a meat, for all intents and purposes most people eat it as meat. What’s more fish is a great source of protein for those on a heart healthy diet especially those types of fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids. What is more, fish is easy to broil, grill or bake which means it doesn’t have to be cooked in oils which makes it an excellent choice for heart healthy eating.

You Don’t Have To Give Up Red Meat Entirely

You also need to keep in mind that you don’t have to give up red meat entirely. While it is wise to limit your red meat consumption to no more than one or two times a week you can still enjoy the occasional steak. Simply look for cuts of meat that are not marbled with fat, and cut off all fat from around the edges. You might also want to cut down from that 8 or 10 ounce serving portion to 4-6 ounces and fill up on lots of fruit and green vegetables. Like with all other meats on a heart healthy menu try grilling, roasting, or broiling your red meat as opposed to frying. Using a meat rack inside your roaster will also let the fat drippings fall away from your meat as you cook leaving less fat for you to consume.

As you can see, eating heart healthy does not mean you have to give up the meat you love, it simply means making healthier choices when choosing the types and the quantity of meat you consume.

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