Managing your heart health is a full-time job. Whether or not you have an existing cardiac condition, you should always be making strides to reduce the number of risk factors that could affect your cardiac health. Often this will involve reducing or stopping harmful habits such as smoking or eating unhealthy foods.
When you're a working professional and constantly on the go, however, it can be hard to find the time for a healthy meal. This is particularly true for lunch, as it falls during a time of day when many of us are scrambling to get a quick bite and get back to work.
Still, if you're willing to take the time and put in a few minutes of planning and preparation at home, you can prepare a lunch that is both delicious and beneficial to your cardiovascular health. Take a look at these suggestions for heart-healthy midday meals and integrate them into your daily routine.
Family Circle recommends a basic tuna salad recipe for a lunch that has cholesterol-lowering capabilities. In order to make this high-protein, low-fat lunch, you'll need 3 ounces of white albacore tuna, 2 cups of mixed greens, a handful of dried cherries, 2 teaspoons of sunflower seeds and a low-fat or fat-free balsamic vinaigrette. Simply mix the tuna with the vinaigrette, spread it on top of the mixed greens and stir in the seeds and cherries. This lunch can easily be made at home in five minutes and brought to work with you in a resealable container. Serve it with a light cheese, several high-fiber crackers and a piece of fruit. All in all, you'll be getting 12 grams of fiber, 495 calories and only 16 grams of fat.
Snacks as lunch
Hummus is delicious, easy to make, portable and great for your body. The American Heart Association recommends blending together 1/4 teaspoon of paprika, 1/2 cup of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon of dried parsley and 30 ounces of drained, low-sodium chickpeas in a food processor. You now have eight servings of hummus perfect for a light lunch. Pair one of these servings with your favorite raw vegetable and you're good to go. Each serving of this recipe yields 126 calories and only 2.5 grams of total fat.
Rethink the sandwich
For many of us, the thought of having a sandwich for lunch is less than thrilling. Still, with the proper recipe, you may find that a sandwich is exactly the delicious and heart-healthy addition to your lunch that you've been looking for. Family Circle also recommends a simple turkey and avocado sandwich for those looking to eat healthy. Whole-grain bread with 1/4 cup of sliced avocado, 3 ounces of turkey and a slice of low-fat Swiss cheese makes a sandwich that comes in at just under 500 calories. Better still, only two of its 12 grams of fat are saturated, and it supplies your body with 12 grams of much-needed fiber.