Take the Healthy Heart Pledge in March
Take the healthy heart pledge in March with Seafood Nutrition Partnership! As a food writer and someone who cares deeply about filling our bodies with the right kinds of food, heart health is something I think a lot about. I’ve known too many friends and family who have struggled with heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the U.S. with 600,000 deaths a year attributed to it.
Part of the problem is a lack of adults exercising, but it’s also about what we eat – too much sugar, fat and other empty calories, and not enough fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.
That’s why I want to talk to you today about eating more seafood. It’s one of the healthiest proteins you can eat, high in Omega-3 fatty acids that help make up that “good cholesterol” you’ve probably heard your doctor talk about.
These essential polyunsaturated fats appear to improve memory function, help prevent cardiovascular disease and stroke, and may reduce the risk of depression, hypertension and other chronic conditions. The human body can’t make Omega-3 fats from scratch but must get them from food – fish, vegetable oils, nuts (especially walnuts), flax seeds, flaxseed oil and leafy vegetables.
We all should eat at least two servings of seafood a week. That’s actually what the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends in its Dietary Guidelines. And eating seafood just twice a week can cut your risk of dying from heart disease by 36%.
But only about 20 percent of people in the U.S. actually do. Hoosiers do even worse than that!
Heart disease strikes at the African-American and Latino communities at rates higher than most any other. So I especially want to encourage people of color to try eating fish or shellfish at least twice a week.
Like me, a lot of Hoosiers didn’t grow up in neighborhoods where folks ate a lot of seafood. So our culture didn’t train us to know how to buy it at the grocery, or what to do with it when we got it home to the kitchen. But there are a lot of resources out there to lend a hand. Try talking to your local butcher or fishmonger – they’ll have plenty of ideas and recipes.
Or visit SeafoodNutrition.org, the website of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership, a non-profit group promoting the health benefits of eating seafood. They’ve got plenty of advice online, and you can take their Healthy Heart Pledge to receive recipes, coupons and encouragement to eat healthier. The partnership has been organizing events in Indianapolis in the same spirit, including cooking demos I’ve been proud to participate in.
In addition to helping yourself, you can also help the homeless. Through the end of March, for every Hoosier who signs the Healthy Heart Pledge, SNP will donate a can of seafood to Wheeler Mission to assist in feeding our homeless population.
Any kind of seafood is good for you, whether you buy it fresh, frozen or even canned. Though try to avoid deep frying if you can – all that batter and oil is high in fat and bad cholesterol! Taking the healthy heart pledge will help to keep yo on track and eating healthy!
Starting now I am going to make an effort to cook and eat more seafood, for the health of both my readers and myself. I’d like to invite you to join me. Together, we can enjoy longer, healthier lives if we just pick fish more often for lunch or dinner. Your heart will thank you!
Food Writer, Family Meal Advocate