Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
About MyHeartDiseaseTeam

MyHeartDiseaseTeam’s Favorite Healthy Foods

Posted on November 08, 2019

You don’t have to sacrifice all your favorite foods – or delicious taste, texture and flavor - on a heart-healthy diet. Members of MyHeartDiseaseTeam share how they prepare recommended foods they’ve learned to love – and healthy makeovers of “old favorites.”

Favorite Recommended Foods
Chicken. Members have found creative ways to dress up this healthy protein for everyone to enjoy. “My favorite heart-healthy recipe is chicken breast in a crock pot with salt-free mushroom soup, onions, carrots, celery, and brown rice,” said one woman. Another member’s favorite food is chicken in tomato sauce. “I don’t add cheese, even the low-fat kind, because I’m told it’s inflammatory,” she said.

Vegetarian chili. To reduce saturated fat, some members create meatless versions of their favorite comfort foods. One vegetarian said, “For me, it was about making tofu and beans taste good. I developed a chili recipe with riced cauliflower which is quite good, and has the right texture. And I make mine hot! I found that if your mouth is burning, you don’t have a need for good taste, LOL!”

Fruits and veggies. A staple of heart-healthy diets, vegetables are no longer a boring side dish for several members. They add fiber, nutrients and even flavor to many dishes. “I put spinach and red peppers in everything now,” said one member. One woman enjoys making “zucchini boats. They’re so good, and healthy too.” Fruit is a popular healthy dessert, snack, and ingredient. “I love, love, love, fresh fruits, so I have them several times a day,” said one member.

Salads. A bowl of tossed greens topped with healthy protein and light dressing is many members’ go-to meal of the day. One member shared his favorite lunch: Tuna salad made with mixed lettuces, tomatoes, sliced black olives, and a dressing of Hellmann’s Canola Mayonnaise, light olive oil, white vinegar, and lemon juice.” One cucumber lover tosses hers with apple cider vinegar and some onions. “I make my own pickles, too!” she said.

Juice. To avoid the high-levels of sugar found in many bottled juices, some members make their own. One shares a favorite healthy beverage she found online: One green or red apple with skin on, five carrots washed, not peeled, and 1-1/2 cup parsley. “It [tastes] great and is good for controlling inflammation,” she explained.

Favorite Food Makeovers
Making healthy versions of favorite comfort foods is a popular topic on MyHeartDiseaseTeam.

Members request and share recipes for dishes that help them transition to – and stick with – a heart-healthy diet. “I just want a veggie that tastes exactly like mac-and-cheese!” joked one member. “Can we start a thread with good, healthy recipes that are filling, but not ridiculously fattening?”

“Pasta.” Packaged, planted-based pasta is one way to make this staple healthier, but several members take it a step further. One woman made lasagna for a dinner party using yellow and green zucchini instead of pasta. “I made a large batch and there was hardly any left over,” she explained. Another member makes zucchini noodles with a spiralizer kitchen tool - also known as “zoodles” - topped with ground veggie crumbles or turkey. Others prefer spaghetti squash as a pasta swap or low-carb, low-fat shirataki noodles (made from Japanese yams).

Baked goods. With the availability of gluten-free, low-carb, high-protein flours on the market, members have been able to replicate their favorite baked treats. One woman developed a cake made from coconut flour topped with sugar-free homemade fruit puree. Another created a “favorite muffin recipe made with almond meal, mashed bananas, chia seed, walnut oil, sea salt, baking soda, pure maple syrup, and stevia. It’s so good to me, and for me.”

Do healthier pastries actually taste good? One member, who enjoys a daily, store-bought almond-flour “muffin” explained, “The secret is not to think of it as a muffin, but a snack.”

Favorite “Cheats”
There are times, however, when members of MyHeartDiseaseTeam “just need the real thing.”

Asked about her favorite “cheat” food, one member replied: “Well, it’s still pizza! But limited.” Agreed another: “Pizza in moderation is OK. I get it once in a while with veggies, some good cheese, and lots of herbs.”

“My weaknesses are chips, pretzels, and Ritz crackers with a slice of longhorn cheese dipped in mustard,” confessed one snacker. “They’re my ‘had-a-great-day-let’s-celebrate’ foods. But only a small bowlful, just enough to satisfy my urge. I also like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup once in a blue moon.”

“I cheat once a month on either a grilled chicken sub or piece of cake,” shared another member. One man reserves his cheats for special occasions. “We went to a buffet with the three grandkids,” he said. “Lobster, crab legs, stone crab claws, shrimp, fish, and steak. I expected to be blown up like a toad in the morning, but it was worth it,” he said.

Another member responded: “I will not go back to unhealthy foods. I’ve had healthy cheats at times and feel much better. No longer pre-diabetic, no more problems.”

On MyHeartDiseaseTeam, the social network and online support group for those living with heart disease, members talk about a range of personal experiences and struggles including their favorite heart-healthy foods.

Here are some conversations about favorite heart-healthy foods:

Can you relate? Have you found or created any favorite heart-healthy foods since being diagnosed with heart disease? Share your experiences in the comments below or on MyHeartDiseaseTeam.

A MyHeartDiseaseTeam Member said:

Ah seed oils. There is no plant called Canola. The oil is made of rapeseed it’s not fit for humans. Lubricant, sure

posted about 1 month ago

hug

Recent articles

The past several weeks have been unprecedented in our lifetime. Social distancing, sheltering in...

COVID-19 and Heart Disease: Are You At a Greater Risk?

The past several weeks have been unprecedented in our lifetime. Social distancing, sheltering in...
The 2020 fall and winter holiday season will be different than any in our lifetimes. While heart...

How To Have a Safe Holiday With Heart Disease During COVID-19

The 2020 fall and winter holiday season will be different than any in our lifetimes. While heart...
During the COVID-19 pandemic, MyHeartDiseaseTeam will provide summaries and links to articles of...

COVID-19 and Heart Disease Essential Updates

During the COVID-19 pandemic, MyHeartDiseaseTeam will provide summaries and links to articles of...
Thousands of members of MyHeartDiseaseTeam connect with one another and read each other's stories...

Four Books About Heart Disease You Should Read

Thousands of members of MyHeartDiseaseTeam connect with one another and read each other's stories...
It is vital to seek urgent care for new or worsening heart disease symptoms.Nonemergency care —...

Heart Disease, Emergency Treatment, and the Stress of Health Care Delays Due to COVID-19

It is vital to seek urgent care for new or worsening heart disease symptoms.Nonemergency care —...
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with heart conditions,...

Canceling Is Kindness: Keeping Safe From COVID-19 With Heart Disease

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with heart conditions,...
Eat healthier. Exercise more. Learn a new skill. Pay off a credit card. Many of us have made...

Setting Intentions for 2020 With Heart Disease

Eat healthier. Exercise more. Learn a new skill. Pay off a credit card. Many of us have made...
This time of the year can be overwhelming with expectations around the holidays, and living with...

Practicing Gratitude With Heart Disease

This time of the year can be overwhelming with expectations around the holidays, and living with...
If you’ve had a heart attack – or were diagnosed with heart disease - eating a nutritious,...

Foods to Avoid When You Have Heart Disease

If you’ve had a heart attack – or were diagnosed with heart disease - eating a nutritious,...
KEY TAKEAWAYS:You can start a conversation with your doctor about ways to improve your heart...

Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Heart Failure

KEY TAKEAWAYS:You can start a conversation with your doctor about ways to improve your heart...
MyHeartDiseaseTeam My heart disease Team

Two Ways to Get Started with MyHeartDiseaseTeam

Become a Member

Connect with others who are living with heart disease. Get members only access to emotional support, advice, treatment insights, and more.

sign up

Become a Subscriber

Get the latest articles about heart disease sent to your inbox.

Not now, thanks

Privacy policy
MyHeartDiseaseTeam My heart disease Team

Thank you for signing up.

close