Eating MORE healthy foods

By Suzanne Proulx

February 19, 2014 Updated Feb 19, 2014 at 12:51 PM EST

(WBNG Binghamton) Instead of eating LESS for a healthy heart, how would you like to eat MORE?

Beth Stark, Weis Markets Dietitian, explains how do it.

"Now, I'm not talking about eating more pizza and burgers, but about eating MORE of the foods that keep your heart healthy," Stark said.

Let's start with whole grains. Whole grains are nutrition powerhouses compared to refined grains. And even though about 48 percent of us are buying more whole grains, some of us still fall short of the three servings per day goal.

An easy rule of thumb is to make at least half of your grains whole. It's as simple as this:
-Replace white bread with whole wheat bread
-Swap white rice for brown rice
-And go for whole wheat spaghetti on pasta night.

Eat more colorful fruits and vegetables! I have some good news for you too-all forms count-meaning that fresh, frozen, dried, 100 percent juice AND canned fruits and vegetables count toward the goal of five cups a day.

Here are a few good options-reduced-sodium vegetables and fruits packed in water, 100 percent juice with no sugar added and plain frozen vegetables.

Aim for (2) 4-ounce (about the size of your palm) servings of baked, grilled or broiled fish, like salmon, each week to boost heart-healthy omega-3 fats. And choose canned or pouch tuna for a convenient no-cooking required option.

Compared to meat, poultry and fish, plant-based proteins like beans, soy and nuts are cholesterol free and often supply added nutrients like fiber and unsaturated fats. Add them at meals and snacks or go meatless one day a week.

Finally, eat more of these foods-olive oil, flaxseeds, avocado and vegetable oil spreads for heart-healthy mono and poly unsaturated fats. These fats may help lower your blood cholesterol level when added to your diet in place of saturated and trans fats.