Heart Healthy Meals
8 Surprising Foods for Heart Health
Image: Mitch Mandel
This little fish is so much more than a tasty pizza topping. Omega 3 fatty acids are found in only two forms: in plants (like chia seeds) or in oil-rich, fatty fish such as sardines. Fish oil not only increases your HDL, or “good,” cholesterol (which helps prevent heart attack) but also reduces the risk of sudden death in people who have already suffered a heart attack, according to the Mayo Clinic. Fresh sardines are great sautéed in olive oil with lemon and garlic—plus, they’re tiny, so they cook quickly. Chopped sardines are perfect for topping salads or adding extra flavor to pasta and vegetable dishes in the place of other flavorful, high-cholesterol proteins, like bacon. Fresh is always best; if you have canned sardines on hand, remember that they tend to have a higher sodium content. Individuals on a sodium-restricted diet—like those with high blood pressure—should carefully account for this detail, says Zumpano.
Related: 6 Supersmart Seafood Choices