Join us as Jen Davis shares her bean-filled food adventures.
Jen Davis, RD, LDN – host of our special feature, An Apple a Day, spoke with us about improving our health by making one change at a time. She encouraged us to look at it as a new learning adventure. In this feature she focused on lowering our risk for heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, every 34 seconds someone in the United States has a heart attack. They say that it is caused by consuming saturated fat, cholesterol and trans fatty acids. Fatty deposits called plaque build up on the walls of the arteries. As the blockage grows in size, it reduces the blood supply to the heart, causing tissue damage which can result in severe disability or even death. Plaque can also rupture, freeing up particles to travel through the blood stream and possibly blocking smaller arteries.
Jen pointed out that you can lower your risk of heart disease by cutting back on meat consumption. Meat, like beef and chicken, while a good source of protein is also a source of cholesterol. One answer to this problem is beans! They are a good source of protein and fiber! Soluble fiber is good for you because it reduces the possibility of constipation and inhibits absorption of cholesterol from the small intestines, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowing blood cholesterol. When you increase your fiber intake, be sure to also increase your water intake to prevent discomfort. “Some of the ways I have incorporated beans into my diet are to add them to my spaghetti sauce. I have also learned how to prepare and use dry beans,” says Jen.
She also told us about a movement in 29 countries called Meatless Mondays. Replace meat – on Mondays! To find out more about this Meatless Monday’s Movement, or for recipes to help get you started, check out the website at MeatlessMondays.com.
Jen encourages you to continue to take small steps and enjoy your food adventures as you work towards optimal health!
Perspectives in Nutrition by Gordon M. Wardlaw
Nutrition Care Manual, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
American Heart Association, www.heart.org