Greek Potato Salad

As summer comes along, many will be looking for healthier alternatives to summertime classics, such as a potato salad. This recipe includes nutrient-packed Mediterranean goodies such as olives, sun-dried tomatoes and dill, each containing antioxidants important to heart health. However, you may notice that some of the ingredients in this recipe come in a salty brine. The high sodium content may lead to an increase in blood pressure, so look for low sodium options when shopping for ingredients such as olives, capers and feta.

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Mushroom Polenta Porridge

Polenta makes a great savory breakfast base. Top with any sauteed veggies you’d like, a sprinkle of cheese and runny egg or maybe fresh, juicy slice of tomato. Polenta is simply a type of cornmeal you can make into a porridge, like in this recipe, or it can be made thick so that you can slice it and pan fry or grill it. You can make the recipe with just polenta (use ¾ cup) but in this version, some of the corn was taken out substituted for flax meal. This lowers the carbs a little bit while adding fiber and more heart-healthy fats. Small, healthy changes like this add up over time! This is a great alternative to oatmeal.

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Berry Oatmeal Muffins

This recipe is a great grab-and-go breakfast or a satisfying snack. Fiber from the oatmeal makes this a filling treat, and the mixed berries are rich in a family of phytochemicals called anthocyanins, among others. Anthocyanins are found in many plant foods that vary in the red/blue/purple color range. Research has shown that these chemicals may have a protective effect on our heart health and on neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, in addition to acting as powerful antioxidants. 

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Citrus Shrimp

Shrimp is a great protein option to keep on hand. They freeze well and cook fast, and their small size makes them a kid-friendly finger food—perfect for busy families. Shrimp gets a bit of a bad reputation for being a high cholesterol food, but overall it is a lean protein. Over many studies and analysis over many years, research has found that dietary cholesterol is not correlated with blood levels and for that reason does not pose a risk to our heart health. The thing to watch is your total fat intake, especially intake of saturated fats. These fats are typically animal-based and solid at room temperature. They are known to contribute to poor cholesterol levels and increase risk of plaque build up in the arteries, increasing risk for heart disease and stroke. However, notice shrimp is very high in sodium, like many other crustaceans and mollusks from the sea, and this may lead to temporary increase in blood pressure and edema. 

Read the Research:

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Spinach Feta Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust

This recipe is a healthier—and, honestly, easier—twist on a classic dish. Quiche is typically a decadent, savory treat with a super buttery crust and a creamy egg filling.

Instead of using butter and white flour to make the crust, this version uses simple slices of sweet potato, a nutritious complex carbohydrate filled with fiber and nutrients. The addition of Greek yogurt, rather than cream, to the egg mix still produces a delightful creamy texture but with added protein and less saturated fat. This also works great with scrambled eggs or omelets. If you’re watching your cholesterol or fat intake, substitute half the eggs with their equivalent in liquid egg whites, or 4 whites from whole eggs.  

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