The National Heart Foundation runs an annual Heart Week to raise public awareness of specific issues relating to heart disease. Its message is about nutrition with an emphasis on making healthy choices.
What is a Cardiac Diet?
A cardiac diet is a critical factor in the prevention of heart disease and should include appropriate amounts of fiber, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and proteins, with an avoidance of excess fats and calories.
Cardiac Diet Recipes
Lean pork is lower in fat and calories than even skinless chicken. It is full of protein and meets all the dietary goals set by the National Heart Foundation .
Pork also has iron levels two to three times higher than other white meats in a form that is particularly well absorbed by the body.
There are plenty of spectacular cardiac diet recipes which can be made with pork which are within the National Heart Foundations dietary guidelines and carry their tick of approval.
Rosemary glazed pork chops
Ingredients: Combine one cup of red wine, one tablespoon of polyunsaturated oil and one tablespoon of fresh rosemary twigs to make a marinade and place four pork chops in the mixture for about an hour.
Method: Lightly brown the chops on both sides. Remove from the pan and drain in absorbent paper. Strain marinade and reserve rosemary. Add half a cup of marinade to pan juices and combine with rosemary, red currant jelly, lemon juice and mustard. Return chops to fry pan and coat with sauce.
Serve with vegetables.
Ingredients: 1 small watermelon, 1 chicken, 3 lamb shanks, 1 onion, 1 tablespoon caraway seeds, 2 tablespoons mustard, salt and pepper, 1 cup thinly sliced celery, 1 cup shredded cabbage and 1 cup sliced mushrooms.
Method: Hollow out the watermelon, leaving 2 cm of pink flesh (this is used as the serving bowl). Cook meat in large pan until tender (water should reach halfway up the chicken). Let cool, strain off liquid and refrigerate to help fat removal. Take meat from bones, discarding all skin, fat and gristle. Chop meat finely. Cook celery, cabbage and mushrooms for 10 minutes in meat stock, add chopped meat.
Serve hot soup from watermelon, scooping out some of the pink flesh with each serving.
Ingredients: 1 cup brown lentils, 1 cup long grain brown rice, 350 g butternut pumpkin (peeled and diced), 1 small onion, parsley, polyunsaturated oil, ½ tsp cumin, 1 clove garlic, ground black pepper and 750 ml stock.
Method: Brown onion in small amount of oil. Add garlic and spices and stir gently. Add rice and stir until the mixture smells nutty. Add lentils and stock, stir. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Add parsley just before serving.
Serve with a green vegetable or green salad.
Ingredients: 250 g crushed wheatmeal biscuits, 125 g melted polyunsaturated margarine, 500 g skim milk cottage cheese, 1 cup skim milk natural yogurt, ¼ cup orange juice, ¼ cup lemon juice, ¼ cup raw sugar, 1 tablespoon gelatin, 2 tablespoons hot water and fresh fruit, such as strawberries and kiwi fruit.
Method: Mix crushed biscuits and melted margarine and press into the bottom of a 24 cm spring-form tin. Refrigerate 1 hour before filling. Blend cheese, yogurt, sugar and juices together. Sprinkle gelatin on to hot water and dissolve. Stir into cheese mixture. Pour over crumb base and refrigerate overnight. Decorate with fresh fruit before serving.
Muesli bread rolls
Ingredients: 1 cup muesli, 1 cup whole meal flour, 2 cups plain flour, 2 tablespoons unprocessed bran, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons polyunsaturated oil, 1 sachet dried yeast and 1¼ cups warm water.
Method: Stir yeast into warm water. Set aside. Mix dry ingredients, make a well in the center and add oil and yeast mixture. Stir well, adding a little more flour if necessary to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured board for five minutes. Place dough in greased bowl, cover and leave in warm place to double in size. Punch the dough down well. Shape into 12 rolls and place on greased tray. Cover with plastic and leave in warm place to double in size. Brush with beaten egg, cook at 400 degrees F on middle shelf for 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
The rolls are delicious with cheese and lettuce, egg and lettuce or meat and salad. They may be frozen.
Fat in the Cardiac Diet and Your Heart
The National Heart Foundation is supporting investigations into the problem, whether dietary fat plays a part in atherosclerosis, a condition more commonly known as hardening of the arteries.
National Heart News, the Foundation’s newsletter, examines the association between dietary fat and heart disease and reports that title question “Does fat play a part in atherosclerosis?” cannot be answered by a simple “Yes” or “No” at present.
As results of world-wide research are likely to come slowly, National Heart News emphasizes the importance of avoiding rash or ill-considered interference with a normal diet.
A reasonable view in the present circumstances, National Heart News recommends, would be:
- If you are healthy and of normal weight, modification of dietary fat is unlikely to be warranted.
- If you are overweight, restriction of fat as part of a weight-reducing diet may be necessary.
- If you already suffer from the type of heart trouble concerned, modification of diet may be justified as one of a number of precautionary measures.
- If your doctor, at examination, finds signs suggesting special risk of heart disease in the future, modifications may also be advisable.
- In any case, do not modify your diet in respect of fats except on advice from a doctor, who has studied your own problem carefully.
In atherosclerosis, the arteries become narrowed due to collection of fatty and fibrous material in their lining which eventually leads to a thickening and stiffening of their wall and blocks the flow of blood through them.
National Heart News explains that atherosclerosis has increased in the past few decades in countries of advanced civilization such as United States.
These facts suggest that something related to the standard of living may play a part. With a high standard of living there is a greater proportion of fat in the daily food, but more research is needed before it can be stated with certainty that high dietary fat causes heart disease.
- A Fat-Controlled Cardiac Diet
- Recipes for a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle
- Cardiac Diet and Heart-Healthy Foods
- Eating Right for Your Heart