You don't have to sacrifice great taste to be good to your heart. There are plenty of flavorful, nutritious foods-fresh vegetables, beans and some tasty oils-that offer a satisfyingly natural way to boost heart health.
A healthier diet doesn't require that you give up fats entirely. You just need to limit some of the "bad" fats, particularly saturated and trans fats. Trans fats, found in most commercial baked goods and fast food, raise cholesterol levels, while other kinds of fat may actually be good for your heart because they raise "good" cholesterol.
A good example is canola oil, which is full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and omega-3 polyunsaturated fats. Omega-3 fats protect against heart attacks and stroke. Canola oil contains the least cholesterol-raising saturated fats of all the culinary oils-canola oil has half the saturated fat of olive oil.
Canola oil contains zero trans fats and is high in vitamin E. Its low smoke point makes it a smart choice for sautéing and its mild flavor allows the taste of other ingredients to shine through. The oil also works well in marinades, keeping food moist and juicy, and is great in vinaigrettes.
1 can green beans
1 can yellow beans
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 white onion, sliced into rings
1 green pepper, seeded and sliced into rings
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp dried mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp dried basil, crumbled
Strain and rinse green beans, yellow beans, black beans and corn. Mix in a large bowl.
To prepare vinaigrette, whisk together canola oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard, garlic, tarragon and basil. Pour onto bean mixture prior to serving. Garnish with onion and green pepper rings.