According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, with one out of every three deaths resulting from heart disease or stroke (1). As American Heart Health Month kicks off this week, now is the perfect time to speak with your clients about the ways they can make heart-healthy choices every day, particularly with regard to dietary fat.
The American Heart Association recommends that 25-35%of a person’s daily calories come from fats, with less than 7%of calories coming from saturated fat and less than 1%from trans-fat (2). Most dietary fat consumed should be monounsaturated and/or polyunsaturated fats, as they help maintain healthy blood lipid levels. Monounsaturated fats are found in foods such as avocados, olive oil and peanut butter and have been shown to provide additional benefits, such as improving insulin levels and blood sugar control (3).
Eggs can also be a great source of these healthier fats, with 1.8g of monounsaturated fat and 1.0g of polyunsaturated fat in each large egg. It’s also important to pair eggs with other good-for-you foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy. To build a nutritious plate, vegetables can be added to easy egg dishes, like casseroles, quiche, or on salads.
For more information to help your clients build simple, nutritious meals –check out the education resources and recipes based on MyPlate, which are available for download on the ENC website. In addition, our friends at the Mediterranean Foods Alliance recently released Fresh Fridays Begin with Breakfast in their Fresh Fridays e-newsletter and featured the Italian Vegetable Custard.
Here is an easy recipe combining avocados and eggs, along with veggies to deliver a tasty meal that’s rich in heart-healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
Tomato & Avocado Egg Salad (pictured above)
Makes 6 Servings
- 6 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
- 2 avocadoes, chopped
- 1 cup chopped tomato
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley OR cilantro
- Spinach OR lettuce leaves
- 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp. sour cream
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. hot pepper sauce
- Mix dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
- Reserve and refrigerate 6 center slices from eggs for garnish. Chop remaining eggs.
- Combine chopped eggs, avocados, tomato, onion and parsley in a large bowl; toss gently to mix. Add dressing; stir gently until ingredients are evenly coated with dressing.
- Refrigerate at least 1 hour to blend flavors. Serve on spinach leaves, garnished with egg slices.
Calories: 218, Total Fat: 17g, Saturated fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated fat: 3g, Monounsaturated fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 189mg, Sodium: 316mg, Carbohydrates: 10g, Dietary Fiber: 5g, Protein: 8g, Vitamin A: 867.9IU, Vitamin D: 41.8IU, Folate: 89.6mcg, Calcium: 51mg, Iron: 1.5mg, Choline: 139.8mg, Vitamin C: 16.2mg.
- Heart Disease Facts In Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm
- Fats and Oils: AHA Recommendation. In American Heart Association. Retrieved from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/FatsAndOils/Fats101/Fats-and-Oils-AHA-Recommendation_UCM_316375_Article.jsp
- Mayo Clinic. Dietary fats: Know which types to choose. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fat/NU00262