Quick note to help you prepare for day 4: Enjoy nuts and/or seeds. This can be incredibly simple and you can just grab a handful of nuts for a snack, or you can get more creative if you like.
You could try the recipe in the shopping guide, Peanut Butter Pasta, this Slow Cooker Squash and Chickpea Curry or this appropriately named Best Shredded Kale Salad.
As always, resources for you:
Okay, go nuts! (Sorry, I had to do it.)
(From the shopping guide for tomorrow:)
Nuts and seeds are also part of (you guessed it) the DASH eating pattern, as a source of magnesium, potassium, and fibre, not to mention protein and healthy fats.
If you already eat nuts and seeds regularly, perhaps this can be an opportunity to experiment with something new. See ideas below.
Aren’t nuts high in fat and calories?
Yep, but it’s mostly heart-healthy fat, and it turns out that reducing that doesn’t improve heart health or weight control. On the contrary, nuts and seeds are associated with better cardiovascular outcomes and they’re satisfying to boot.
How much should I have?
We’re looking for about a 1/3 cup of nuts or two tablespoons of nut butter or seeds.
In the original DASH studies, people had either this or legumes 4-5 times a week, but the subsequent OmniHeart study had success with even more, so again, let your appetite guide you.
- Bring nuts or homemade trail mix for an afternoon snack. With a piece of fruit or some raw veggies, this can help you get through to supper.
- Enjoy a peanut butter and banana sandwich (on whole grain bread of course). Heart healthy comfort food!
- For a nut-free twist, sunflower seed butter is quite good, and similarly nutritious.
- Try chia seeds, which are also a great source of soluble fibre (cholesterol lowering) and heart-healthy omega-3 fat. They’re great in chia jam and chia pudding (google it).
- Or you can add to a smoothie or energy ball/bar.
- Other heart-healthy seeds include flax (go with ground for the most nutrition),hemp hearts, and inexpensive sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Bonus: Seeds can go to school.