The Sunny Side of Heart Healthy Eating

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By Terri Jones, RD, LDN

Heart Healthy Eating is a term constantly being thrown around in conversation because of the popular active healthy lifestyle movement. But… what really is heart healthy eating? How does it actually help our bodies? Who can participate in heart healthy eating? What is a heart healthy recipe?

A Heart Healthy Diet emphasizes the importance of eating lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It is important to limit the amount of saturated fat and sodium consumed. Although this lifestyle typically for people with heart diseases, the whole family can decrease their risk of cardiovascular disease by participating in this way of eating.

Saturated Fat

Limiting the amount of saturated fat in your diet can decrease your chances of heart related diseases like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or coronary artery disease.

Common foods with saturated fat: fatty meats, whole milk, cream and butter.

Heart healthy choices:

Fresh lean meats (Skinless chicken, lean beef, lean pork)

Milk (skim, 1%), if over age 2

Olive oil, canola oil, soft margarine spreads


Limiting the amount of sodium/salt in your diet can decrease your chances of heart related diseases (high blood pressure, heart failure).

Common foods with sodium: salt (garlic salt, hawaiian salt, any kind of salt!), canned foods, some frozen meals, deli meats, cheeses, condiments, gravies, and pickled foods.

Heart healthy choices

  • Salt free seasonings (Mrs. Dash)
  • Herbs & spices (garlic, onion, ginger, basil, thyme)
  • Lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar
  • Peppers or chillies

For great heart healthy recipes, check out these cookbooks!

  1. The Dash of Aloha Book Series by Kapiolani Community College
  2. A DASH of Aloha: Healthy Hawaii Cuisine and Lifestyle
  3. A SWEET Dash of Aloha: Guilt Free Hawaii Desserts and Snacks
  4. A SPLASH of Aloha: A Healthy Guide to Fresh Hawaiian Seafood

To have your own cookbook from the Dash of Aloha Series, check out:

Kapiolani Community College Cafeteria

KCC Booth on Saturdays at the KCC Farmers Market

Amazon: A DASH of Aloha

Amazon: A SPLASH of Aloha

Amazon: A SWEET Dash of Aloha

The New American Heart Association Cookbook, 8th Edition

To have your own American Heart Association Cookbook, check out these links:

American Heart Association


Barnes and Noble


Grilled Asian Salmon by The Mayo Clinic Staff


1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

4 salmon filets, each 4 ounces

In a shallow dish, combine sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger and vinegar. Add salmon and turn to coat all sides. Refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes, turning occasionally.
Lightly oil grill and heat to medium-high heat. Place salmon on grill and cook for 5 minutes on each side. Fish is ready when a knife blade inserted into the center reveals that the pink flesh is almost opaque. Serve Warm.
Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: One fillet

Calories: 185

Total Fat: 9g

Saturated Fat: 2g

Sodium: 113mg

Protein: 26g

Terri Jones, RD, LDN is a clinical dietician at The Queen’s Medical Center. For more information or to make an appointment, call 691-4255 or visit:

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