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Eat smart to prevent heart disease

Updated on October 4, 2016

Alter your diet a tiny bit

Besides baby aspirin and going green for salads to give yourself a healthy heart to prevent heart disease in your family, you can alter or moderate your diet a tiny bit by changing a few items on the menu. You don’t have to go on a no-salt/low salt diet or become a total vegetarian. You can switch up some of your favorite meats by some meat alternatives. Like the old adage we hear from time to time, try it before you buy it.

When you go shopping at your local grocery store, they might be a food demonstrater handing out free samples of food for you to try. Sometimes at the deli counters, you would see free samples on top of their glass counters in cups for you to try their food. Most grocers don’t have the freebies, in which is okay.

Healthy veggie burger poll

Have you tried Boca burgers or Morning Star Products?

See results

Veggie burgers are full of protein and good for you too: this is a lentil-walnut burger that looks delicious and easy to make

Veggie burgers in exchange of beef

Who can’t go wrong with a hamburger or meatballs with their pasta? But beef is loaded with sodium, even if the lean fat is cut off. It could give you high cholesterol, unless you want to eat it in moderation. There’s a healthier meat alternative for beef products. Both Boca and Morningstar offer a slew of frozen food products of soy burgers and meatballs at your local grocery store. When my mother tried them last year, she said it tasted like “cardboard.” But for me, I’ve had Boca burgers and Morningstar burgers for two years. You can grill them, bake them in the oven, which is recommended, and nuke them in the microwave for a quick fix. Add your favorite toppings and the bun, you have an instant sandwich. They come in a variety of flavors from portobello mushroom burgers to the original veggie burger. As for your pasta, there’s a soy alternative you can add in with tomato sauce and garlic bread with salad.

Go light with deli products for pork

Now, for lunch time, it might become tricky to pass on bologna, salami or ham. If you want to do low sodium deli meats for your sandwiches, if available, that’s okay. But another alternative route is doing meat-less or vegetarian deli. If your local grocery store have them available, try Lightlife Smart deli Bologna, which has no fat or nutrious, or Yves Veggie Cuisine, which are soy-based in seven varieties from bologna, ham, pepperoni, and a roast beef.

Of course, going meat-less or vegetarian may not to be for everyone. And that might be okay. I haven’t tried these products yet, since they’re not available at my local grocery stores yet. But if you see them, give them a shot, drop me a note and let me know.

Tofurkey is a great poultry alternative and made from tofu, anywhere you slice them and cook them too

Tofurkey anyone for poultry?

As for chicken and turkey, it wouldn’t hurt switching out your favorite deli meats from poultry. It’s okay to get your protein from them during dinner and holiday meals. Yves Cuisine, Lightlife and Tofurkey have them for a healthy school lunch for your family and yourself, too. It couldn’t hurt to switch them up every once in a while. Besides burgers, there's a variety of chicken tenders and nuggets out there with a delicious and healthy taste. Add ketchup and sweet and sour sauce, a dash of salt and pepper, and you'll dig into these tempting vegetarian meat-less alternatives.

Turkey bacon is healthier than regular bacon--chicken bacon is another bacon alternative to try too

Breakfast treats and other healthy meats

Since we've covered lunch and dinner, we mustn't skip the most important meal of the day: breakfast! Oh yes, there's meatless alternatives out there for the beef and pork variety from both Boca Burger and Morningstar as well. Try their healthier version of sausages--both links and patties--and in bacon. It would also fill you up, before you start your own day.


Also, instead of eating beef, you can try the poultry version of sausages, hot dogs, bacon, brats, etc., in chicken or turkey. Try to skip the all-meat bologna and dig into the ground chicken and turkey varieties out there as well.

Try it before you buy it

You can find any of these products on sale, with or without coupons, and at a good price at your grocery store for a good deal. If you order them online, it’s going to be expensive to try them out and wait for delivery on your doorstep.

So try these products if you can, before you can buy them today at your local grocery store! Up next, we'll talk about frozen foods, milk, and healthy snacks!

Who's ready to eat light?

Which meat would you swap out with a lighter meat?

See results

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    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      very good advice, we should change from meat to veggies or less fat

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Peach for stopping by. That diet is a whole new regime for sure.

    • Romanian profile image

      Nicu 2 years ago from Oradea, Romania

      Nice tips. The key for a healthy life it's to diversify your diet.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Romanian for commenting.

    • crazybeanrider profile image

      Boo McCourt 2 years ago from Washington MI

      I've been wanting to try the Boca burgers for some time but haven't taken that leap yet. I think if you go slow and introduce the new food gradually it could actually work. I cook for my elderly mom and a 16 year old boy who refuse to even try, but for me I would like to modify a bit. Informative hub, Thank you.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Crazy, thanks for stopping by and commenting. It took me awhile to get used to it over the past two years. MorningStar burgers and patties are quite delicious, too. My brother loves the morning sausage links, too.

    • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

      Greensleeves Hubs 2 years ago from Essex, UK

      For me Kristen the most attractive draw is the opening subtitle - 'Alter your diet a tiny bit' :) Seriously, I lack the will power to make any major changes, so any article which presents very moderate or occasional substitutes such as yours does, is certainly be welcomed, and I would be happy to try some of these. It's good advice for those who can't or don't want to give up totally on meat.

      You mention breakfast, but that I must admit is probably my healthiest meal at the moment - I like something not too heavy, so for me it's cereal every morning. Cheers, Alun

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks for the comments, Greensleeves, on my sub-titles. Go for it to alter any meal.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      I think my food will have a face for awhile. However, if I was to going to make a change I would probably give beef a rest.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Go for you, Poetryman. Try poultry or fish or healthier foods for a change. Thanks for the comment.

    • Edwin Thomas profile image

      Edwin Thomas 2 years ago from Somewhere on earth

      lovely hub.... enjoyed your work

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Edwin for checking out my hub. You've made my day.

    • Molly Layton profile image

      Molly Layton 23 months ago from Alberta

      Looks tasty!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 23 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Molly!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 23 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have not yet tried these meat substitutes though we have tried to have more fish now.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 23 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Mary, always good to hear from you. Give it a try. You might like it. Yeah for more fish!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 22 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Although we do like regular hamburgers, we do keep a frozen black bean burger in our freezer that we purchase at Costco. It is really tasty and so easy to microwave in a couple of minutes when ready to eat. We are eating less beef these days and more of the white meats and fish. I have not tried many of the other substitutes. It is nice when you can sample a food before purchasing. That is one nice advantage of shopping at Costco and some other stores that regularly offer free samples.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 22 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      I agree with you Peggy. My Giant Eagle does it, but not Aldis' or Acme. I love those samples and food demonstrators. I would have to check out Costco sometime. Thanks for visiting!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Good ideas for a healthier lifestyle. We're altering our diet to cut back on the amount of red meat in our house. I've tried the Boca Burgers and have to agree with your mother. It's like having a bread sandwich. I have tried Aldi's Black Bean Chipotle burgers and they are quite tasty.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 22 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Peg! I'm not a big fan of spicy peppers, so I would try. MorningStar makes delicious burgers, chicken nuggets and breakfast meals. Good for you!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 22 months ago

      We eat veggie burgers often and find they are quite tasty. The Boca brand is very good. Also have switched to eating more turkey bacon which as a surprisingly great taste. Great suggestions!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 22 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Diana. Good for you for doing veggie burgers. I agree. I have switched bacon too and hope to switch bologna this fall. Thumbs up!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 22 months ago from New York

      So many alternatives are now available, we just have to change our mind set. Centuries of eating meat seem to be ingrained in our tastes and minds.

      Well done Kristen.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 22 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks so much Mary. You're so sweet and kind.

    • emge profile image

      Madan 22 months ago from Abu Dhabi

      Excellent post with great ideas

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 22 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Emge for liking my heart-healthy ideas!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 21 months ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Great advice! I like the Boco burgers. First I've heard of Tofurky. Thanks!

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 21 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      My pleasure, Rebecca! I never tried Tofurkey before, maybe this year. But I've had tried tofu! Boca burgers are real good.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 19 months ago from Long Island, NY

      I year ago started eating many of my meals as vegetarian. Although I don't consider myself a vegetarian because when I eat out, I'll still eat all the unhealthy stuff. But that's okay, as long as most of my meals are healthy, in my opinion.

      My last physical showed that my cholesterol and blood pressure both came down. So, it's working.

      In the process of changing my eating habits, I discovered the Morning Star Products you had mentioned. You said that someone told you it tasted like cardboard. I had not found that to be the case at all. As long as you cook it as per the instructions, it's very tasty and comes out just right. If you didn't know any better you would think you were eating meat.

      I found another way of using them. I break up the veggie burgers into pieces and mix it with a boiled potato. Makes for a great meal.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 19 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Good for you, Glenn. My mom told me the BocaBurgers tasted like cardboard. But Morning Star tasted good to me. Great idea!

    • Readmikenow profile image

      Readmikenow 6 months ago

      This is a good article. I enjoy vegetarian food, but I am still a meat eater. My father ate meat until the day he died at age 90. I do have friends who are vegetarians and I enjoy the food they provide at their house. Enjoyed reading this.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 6 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Mike for commenting and stopping by. Wow, that's a long lifetime. I do eat some meat, too, and hope to pass on pork and red meat in 2017.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 5 weeks ago from Massachusetts

      Kristen, my husband and I have been eating less and less red meat over the past few years and feel better for it. We love a good steak once in a while, but we save it as a special-occasion treat. In between, we've been trying to use meat almost like a seasoning for non-meat dishes, and we've found several meatless alternatives we like a lot. One of our favorites is to broil, grill or pan-fry portobella mushroom halves as a substitute for burgers. Yum! Thanks for the encouragement to make healthier choices.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 5 weeks ago from Northeast Ohio

      Margaret, good for you and your husband. I do eat meat alternatives as well like tofu and veggie/turkey burgers. It would be hard for me to give up ham and find an alternative for it. You're welcome. I would love to try that mushroom recipe sometime.

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