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The #1 Food to Eat for Better Heart Health, According to Research

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Enter this message under “The best thing about sliced ​​bread”: Yes, you can eat carbohydrates and be healthy. In fact, a certain strain could be the best ingredient in the overall heart healthy diet recipe.



a bowl of salad on a plate: roasted red pepper spinach feta pasta


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Eating more whole grains is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and New research shows that people who consume more whole grains can also reduce heart health risk factors before they develop into a more severe disease. (Incidentally, these risk factors and early signs include waist circumference, blood pressure, blood sugar and the values ​​of the “good” cholesterol and triglycerides of high-density lipoprotein during fasting. You can read more about them here.)

This is not little news when you consider that heart disease is both the leading cause of death worldwide according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the cause of one in four deaths in the United States (CDC) according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To lower your risk of heart disease, the CDC recommends quitting (or ideally never starting) smoking, maintaining a weight near “normal” for your height, and staying active. What you eat also plays an important role in your overall risk profile. According to a 2015 study by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, eating a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish, vegetable oils, and poultry can reduce the risk of heart disease by a third.

But which of these foods are the best of the best for lowering the chances of heart disease in the first place?

That’s what a new study in the Journal of Nutrition found. The researchers relied on data from the “progeny cohort” of the Framingham Heart Study, a long-term study by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). This cohort shared medical history and reported physical exam reports about every four years from 1971 to 2014. From 1991 they also offered nutritional details. After initially excluding those with diabetes and anyone who did not share nutritional information, the scientists had to delve into the data on 3,121 people.



a bowl of salad on a plate: a call to all carbohydrate fans!  Here's what you need to know.


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Calling all carbohydrate fans! Here’s what you need to know.

Those who ate the least amount of whole grains reported an average of 1 inch larger waistlines every four years. Those who ate the most whole grains saw an average increase of about ½ an inch, plus smaller increases in blood pressure and sugar.

Related: Our Top 15 Heart Healthy Foods

Video: The Best and Worst Diet for Your Heart Health, According to New Research (EatingWell)

The best and worst diet for your heart health, according to new research

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“Our results suggest that eating whole grains as part of a healthy diet offers health benefits that not only help us lose or maintain weight as we age. In fact, this data suggests that people who eat more whole grains are better able to maintain their blood sugar and blood pressure over time. Managing these risk factors in old age can help protect against heart disease, “Dr. Nicola McKeown, senior and corresponding study author and scientist on the nutritional epidemiology team at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, reports to Medical News Today .

So what makes whole grain products so outstanding – and what makes them different from any old grain?

“The presence of fiber in whole grains can be satiating, and magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants can help lower blood pressure. Soluble fiber, in particular, can have a positive impact on post-meal blood sugar spikes, “said Caleigh Sawicki, Ph.D., MPH, who contributed to the study as part of her PhD at Tufts, added in the Medical News Today abstract. “Our research adds to the vast amount of observational data showing that higher intake of whole grains is linked to improved health. But we still don’t know much about the mechanisms behind the health effects of whole grains … It could be the fiber in whole grains, or it could be one of many other nutrients or polyphenols – or they all work together! “

The difference between whole grains and refined grains is that whole grains contain all three parts of the grain: the bran, the germ, and the endosperm, explains Jessica Ball, MS, RD, assistant nutrition editor at EatingWell.

“Most of the fiber comes from the bran, the germ contains most of the nutrients, and the endosperm contains the simple carbohydrates that help the plant have energy to grow. To make refined or” white “grains, the bran and germ are removed , which provides you with all of the simple, fast-burning carbohydrates and not much of the nutrients or fiber. Fiber is critical to everything from gut health to blood sugar control to heart health and more, “says Ball. (ICYMI, Here’s a deeper dive into whole grains and why they’re so important.)

Whole grains are also great sources of B vitamins, which help our cells metabolize energy and function optimally. The fiber and nutrients in whole grains slow their digestion so we can use as much energy as possible, unlike refined grains, which are digested quickly. This can result in an energy spike and crash instead of sustained energy.

Related: Is There Such a thing as good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates?

The MyPlate guidelines recommend making at least half of your grain intake from whole grains. This means that if you eat six servings of grains a day, at least three should be whole grains. One serving of grain equals:

  • 1 slice of bread
  • ½ cup cooked cereal or pasta or
  • 3 cups of popcorn
  • ⅓ cup of crackers

Half a cup of oatmeal in the morning, an afternoon snack with 3 cups of popcorn, and half a cup of brown rice or whole wheat pasta for dinner will get you where you want to go, Ball says.

“The average American consumes about five servings of refined grains a day, much more than recommended. So it’s important to think about ways to replace refined grains with whole grains later in the day. For example, you might consider a bowl of whole grain cereal instead of a white flour bagel for breakfast, and replacing refined cereal snacks, appetizers, and side dishes with whole grain options. Small incremental changes in your diet to increase your whole grain intake will make a difference over time, “adds Dr. McKeown.

To translate these changes into reality, Ball suggests thinking about how these changes fit into your current meal plan.

“Try swapping whole grains in meals you are already enjoying to boost your intake. Serve brown rice, for example, as a side dish to a stir-fry or curry. Buy whole wheat pasta and breads instead of white bread or refined cereal pasta when you are in the store, ”she says.

Get inspiration to start tonight by making one of these 27 low calorie dinners made with whole grains.

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Healthy Eating

Heart disease risk: Partnering on lifestyle change can help

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After a heart attack, changing longstanding behaviors that affect heart health can be challenging. Many people have developed habits over the course of 20, 30, or 40 years that are ingrained and which can take considerable effort to change. Does it help to have a partner who is supportive and participative? A recent study has shown that this is possible.

The RESPONSE-2 study is a lifestyle intervention study that enrolled patients with coronary artery disease. More than 800 study participants were randomly assigned to either nurse-coordinated referral of patients and their partners to three popular community-based lifestyle programs or standard care. The community-based intervention programs were aimed at weight loss, increased physical activity, and smoking cessation. Both the intervention and control groups continued to visit their cardiologist, take part in cardiac rehab programs, and take part in general counseling sessions on healthy lifestyles, risk factors, and medication use. Success was defined as improvement in one of the three risk factors without worsening in the other two at 12 months.

The results showed that the proportion of successful patients who improved at least one of the lifestyle risk factors was 37% in the intervention group compared to 26% in the control group. Weight loss was the most successful component, with almost twice as many patients achieving significant weight loss (at least 5% of initial weight) in the intervention group compared to the control group. Patients whose partners participated in the community-based program had the highest percentage of success.

Modifiable Lifestyle Risk Factors for Heart Disease

It is well known that obesity carries the risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes – all factors that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. By controlling your weight through physical activity and eating a healthy diet, you can reduce these risk factors, and therefore your risk of heart disease.

How can a partner help?

There are many challenges in improving our diet: what we eat, how much we eat, and where we eat, to name a few.

What we eat: What comes on the table becomes what we eat. A partner can work with you to create a shopping list to determine what is being brought in. You can work together to create a menu that follows healthy eating guidelines. Restricting food that is not heart healthy can play a major role in a person’s success. Once food is readily available, it becomes even more difficult for someone trying to change their food intake. Making sure there are plenty of vegetables, fresh fruits, and lean protein, along with healthy fats, some low-fat dairy, and whole grains can all contribute to your success.

How much do we eat: Some people may eat mostly healthy foods, but they overeat and can therefore struggle with their weight. A partner can help you prepare a reasonable amount of food so that there aren’t a lot of leftovers. When arranging food, you and your partner can use the balanced plate guidelines: 1/2 plate of low-calorie vegetables, 1/4 plate of lean protein, and 1/4 plate of whole grains or a healthy starch.

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Where we eat: Prior to the pandemic, Americans spent a significant portion of their meal dollars on eating out groceries – takeaway, fast food, and restaurants. With the closure of many businesses in 2020 and early 2021, home cooking increased significantly. However, after food reopened, many Americans are resuming their pre-pandemic habits. This can result in some meals being higher in total calories, saturated fat, and sodium than homemade meals. A partner can help decide how often and where to eat out. Additionally, a partner can help select restaurants where healthy options are available.

Tips for healthy eating outdoors

Don’t start hungry. Skipping meals or starving yourself can lead to overeating! It can also be difficult to avoid all of these tempting foods.

Don’t feel like you have to eat everything on your plate. Send back what you don’t want. Better yet, bring it home in a doggy bag and you’ll enjoy the meal twice as much.

Avoid nibbling. Listen to your body when it tells you it is full. Have the waiter or wait staff remove extra food from the table. The longer it stays, the more likely you will be to nibble.

Eating shouldn’t be a race. Eating too quickly can lead to overeating, as it takes your body 20 minutes to know that it is full. So take the time to put your fork down between bites and focus on the social aspect of eating.

Order à la carte. Who said you need to order a starter? Make your own. You can choose any combination of starters, soups, salads and side dishes. This allows for more variety and gives you more control over what and how much you eat.

Longstanding habits are hard to change, but you can make small changes every day. A partner who can and wants to support you in the change process can be a helpful resource for your success.

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing offers access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of the last review or update for all articles. No content on this website, regardless of the date, should never be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

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Healthy Eating

A Chicken in Every Pot at La Rosa Chicken & Grill, The New Eatery in the Princeton Shopping Center

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CHICKEN DELIGHT: “We cook to order and everything is fresh. Nothing is frozen. Everything is prepared on site every day. ”Benny Umbra (left) and head chef Lazzaro Merone, owner of La Rosa Chicken & Grill in the Princeton Shopping Center, enjoy a taste of the restaurant’s specialties: (top left) crispy chicken sandwich with macaroni and cheese and french fries; Fried Chicken Dish with Garlic Broccoli, Beans and Corn Muffin; Chicken sandwich with creamed spinach and fries; and chicken gorgonzola salad. All are customer favorites.

By Jean Stratton

no doubt! Chicken is an all-time favorite. Chicken sandwiches, chicken salad, chicken tenders, roast chicken, roast chicken – there is something for everyone!

And since some people skip red meat and others don’t like fish, chicken is a popular choice for those looking for a healthy diet.

Step into La Rosa Chicken & Grill, which opened at Princeton Shopping Center just last May.

“Chicken is our specialty,” says Benny Umbra, partner and co-owner of the new restaurant, together with head chef Lazzaro Merone

One of 15 franchises in New Jersey and New York, La Rosa Chicken & Grill has quickly become a favorite in its new location in the mall.

Down to earth

“The response is very encouraging,” reports Umbra. “People came straight away and we already have regular customers. It’s also all ages and lots of families. They come in for lunch, both for take-out and take-out, and then come by for dinner for a meal to take home. “

Founded in 1994 by Vincenzo Pugliese in Marlboro, the company has always attached great importance to a down-to-earth, healthy diet with a focus on high-quality ingredients, freshly prepared, with an appealing presentation and friendly service.

The La Rosa mission statement underscores its core values.

“A modern world restaurant that stays true to the traditions of the old world. We only use natural, antibiotic-free chicken that is flavored in our signature herb marinade, which makes our chicken tender and juicy. Our side dishes are made from scratch with fresh vegetables and local vegetables. La Rosa offers a range of foods cooked in ovens, kettles, open fire grills, and rotisseries, with all fats extracted while keeping everything healthy.

“By only starting with fresh ingredients and a preparation that meets our requirements for exceptional quality, we get a meal that is unsurpassed in its category. At La Rosa Chicken & Grill you can be sure that you are getting a balanced meal for your family. “

Everyone’s taste

Customers will find something for every taste and appetite: sandwiches, platters and bowls, salads and side dishes and a whole chicken for a complete meal.

Sandwiches include mild or flavorful marinated grilled chicken, crispy tenders, and wraps. Caesar, buffalo or burrito wraps as well as three, four or five-part tenders are also offered.

Plates and bowls include mild or flavorful Grilled Chicken Platter, La Rosa Bowl, and Burrito Bowl, all of which offer a variety of chicken dishes and side dishes. Popular salads are Chicken Mediterranean, Chicken Caesar, and Chicken Gorgonzola.

Chicken dishes include a quarter, half or whole chicken, all white or all dark meat. A whole family chicken meal also features four side dishes and three corn muffins.

Side dishes include macaroni and cheese, rice pilaf, garlic broccoli, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, sweet mashed potatoes, garlic beans and La Rosa’s typical French fries.

Combo meals include french fries, fountain sodas, or bottled water. Top it off with one or more of the restaurant’s popular triple chocolate chip cookies.

Children’s meals

Children’s dishes are also available, including the typical macaroni and cheese with corn muffin and drinks (apple juice, mineral water or fountain drink) or the popular grilled or crispy chicken tenders.

Offering good quality food at reasonable prices is a major priority at La Rosa, emphasizes Umbra. “We offer high quality food at affordable prices. People love our chicken. It’s so popular. Our signature fries are also big favorites, as are macaroni and cheese. And all with friendly and fast service. “

Sandwiches start at $ 5.49, platters at $ 9.99, and sandwiches at $ 9.49. Half a chicken is $ 8 (with side dishes and muffin $ 12.25), and a whole chicken family meal is $ 25.99. Children’s meals start at $ 4.99.

“I’m an accountant by trade,” continues Umbra, “but I’ve always wanted to have a restaurant and be in the food business.” In addition to the Princeton location, he also owns a La Rosa restaurant in Hazlet and another one that is coming soon opens in Randolph.

Providing a warm and welcoming atmosphere is another key to La Rosa’s success, he believes. “We want people to feel relaxed and comfortable here. We warmly welcome you. Also, we always keep the theme of our interior in relation to the environment, with artwork on the wall, and we also include a photo of a vintage lunch sign from a friendly 1930s restaurant. ”

Princeton La Rosa offers an informal setting with tables, booths and banquets. 50 customers can sit inside and 25 outside.

Great welcome

Catering is also an important part of the business, emphasizes Umbra. “We host all types and sizes of events, including corporate dinners. We recently had an event in a residence and provided 500 sandwiches, platters and bowls. “

He is excited about the location in the Princeton Shopping Center. “We really wanted to be in Princeton, and the shopping center is great,” he says. “It’s convenient, parking is easy, and we’re right next to Dunkin ‘Donuts. We have both courtyard and street entrances. We were also given a very warm welcome from the other dealers. “

He looks forward to a long and friendly relationship with customers and the Princeton community.

“I enjoy keeping customers happy and seeing how they like to eat. They love coming here. We’re also a great place for kids’ sports teams to come after their games. We’re really looking forward to being a real part of the community here and building the La Rosa brand. We also look forward to additions to our employees. This is a great place to work. We are definitely here to stay! “

La Rosa Chicken & Grill is open seven days, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Delivery service is available through DoorDash and GrubHub, as well as La Rosa’s own app, which customers can download for additional rewards.

For more information, call (609) 718-3111 or visit the website at larosagrill.com.

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Healthy Eating

Air fryers anyone? This cooker’s popularity continues to grow – Orange County Register

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Air fryers are a lie by definition, but it’s one that people are still literally gnawing at 11 years after they first hit the market.

Why are they a lie? Because they are really not deep fryers, but small convection ovens that circulate superheated air so quickly that your food becomes crispy.

I say small because they are not that small after all. They take up expensive space on your kitchen counter, next to your George Foreman Grill, Instant Pot, and toaster.

  • Marla Weisenfeld got this purple hot air fryer a few years ago and is using it in her kitchen to prepare healthy and crispy meals in Long Beach on Thursday, July 29th, 2021. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram / SCNG)

  • Like many of the affordable air fryers on the market, the Gourmia GAF575 air fryer is easy to use, but its size isn’t designed to feed a large crowd. (Photo by Cathy Thomas)

  • Cook the fried chicken strips in a hot air fryer for about 12 minutes. (Photo by Cathy Thomas)

  • Potato wedges had a consistency between roasted and fried after being cooked in a hot air fryer. (Photo by Cathy Thomas)

  • Marla Weisenfeld got this purple hot air fryer a few years ago and is using it in her kitchen to prepare healthy and crispy meals in Long Beach on Thursday, July 29th, 2021. (Photo by Brittany Murray, Press-Telegram / SCNG)

The air fryer was first introduced to the world in all its glory in 2010 when Philips presented it at a major consumer electronics fair in Berlin. But it didn’t break through until celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, started mentioning it a few years later.

Since then, sales have continued to grow. According to ResearchandMarkets.com, the U.S. sells the largest number of hot air fryers in the world – valued at $ 323 million in 2018 – and the market continues to grow. The company attributed the growth to the health benefits of consuming less fried foods and increasing consumer awareness of the toxic compounds that are created during deep frying. In addition to consumers, they are also buying more commercial users. Prices are generally around $ 100, although sales can drop to $ 50.

They are now extremely popular gifts from real believers in the hot air fryer, even if some of the recipients have never taken them out of the box. And many end up in the garage unused.

True air fryer believers tend to be evangelical – they want to recruit new members. You post on Facebook where different groups have names like Easy Air Fryer Recipes, Air Fryer Tips and Recipes, Air Fryer Daily, Air Fryer Tips and Tricks !, Air Fryer Lovers, Air Fryer Fanatics, Air Fryer For Beginners, and more. There are Indian air fryer recipes, gluten-free air fryer recipes, vegan air fryer recipes, and Weight Watchers air fryer recipes. Not to mention Twitter and Instagram.

And they share their love personally. Go to a wedding party and you will find a hot air fryer on the gift table.

Lucy Dunn of Coto de Caza said she recently received one as a present. She wanted someone to make fries that were healthier. “The box opened,” she said. “All parts looked at and put back in the box. Sigh. Intimidated. ”She wants to“ be brave soon ”.

Then there is Kathy Bussi from Long Beach, who received a hot air fryer from her nephew for Mother’s Day but didn’t even manage to open the box. Yes, she actually wanted a hot air fryer. Nowadays most people who own a kitchen seem to want one.

“It’s in his box on the counter where I want to use it,” said Bussi. “I’ll be using it soon. I just don’t know when. A friend gave me a cookbook for the hot air fryer for my birthday. I’ve leafed through it. “

This is the result of the air fryer mania: the side businesses that it started. Everyone now needs a hot air fryer cookbook, because the appliance cooks very differently than an oven or hob.

After you have your air fryer and cookbook, you can even buy an air fryer t-shirt. Wear it while using your air fryer. Then you might be tempted to add a cake pan, pizza pan, silicone mat, metal toasting rack, skewer rack, and muffin pan. Then, when you are fully privy to the cult, all you need is your parchment paper, an instant thermometer, and an olive oil mister.

Marla Weisenfeld from Long Beach is one of those that her brother and sister gave her two years ago. She had thought about getting one but hadn’t made up her mind.

“I was on cancer treatment at the time and was trying to eat healthily, so my brother and sister gave it to me for my birthday,” said Weisenfeld. “The first thing I made was ore-ida fries from the freezer and they were good.”

And yes, she later got a cookbook even though she hasn’t got a t-shirt yet.

“Everything I did was really good,” said Weisenfeld. “I like to make fried chicken with just a dash of olive oil, maybe every two weeks. It doesn’t heat up my kitchen. I think it’s a healthier way of cooking and less messy. “

What Weisenfeld doesn’t like is that because of the relatively small cooking area, she has to prepare three servings to have enough fried chicken for her family of four, which takes 45 to 60 minutes.

“It’s just another device on the countertop that can be put up and down with my Instant Pot (on your fridge),” she said.

Favorite dishes she has prepared include Brussels sprouts, zucchini and salmon. She said she only does things that seem “safe” so she hasn’t had any failures to date.

Those in the know who have actually mastered the cooking method can sometimes not get enough of the device. Gail Davis of San Bernardino said she and her husband “air fryer,” including steaks and fried vegetables. She described it as “the greatest thing since sliced ​​bread”.

Barbara Kogerman of Laguna Hills said she bought a hot air fryer accessory to use with her Instant Pot that has been there for months, and she just joined a hot air fryer Facebook group to muster the courage to learn how to use it.

In the meantime, gift wrap continues to be placed over these air fryer boxes as more and more people are exposed.

But not Anne Ramirez from Covina. She’s not ready to fry the old fashioned way.

“I think I would really miss those hot splatters of fat on my arms and clothes … right where the apron doesn’t cover,” Ramirez said.

Lola Scott, who lives near Sacramento, said she was now seriously considering using the one she bought.

“It turns out that hot air fryers are like gym memberships – they’re only good when you use them,” said Scott. “Mine is still in the box.”

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