Here’s the bad news: Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.
Every year, one in four deaths results from heart disease.
Here’s the good news: Heart disease often can be prevented.
To keep your heart happy, it’s important to make healthy lifestyle choices and also essential to manage your health conditions.
Communities, health professionals and families can work together to create opportunities for people to make healthier choices.
Here are just a few ideas from the American Heart Association, to help you get started:
- Encourage your family members and other families to make small changes, such as using spices to season food, instead of using salt.
- Motivate teachers and administrators at your children’s schools to make physical activity a part of the school day, and to never use physical activity as a punishment. This can help students start good habits early.
- Ask doctors and nurses to be leaders in their communities by speaking out about ways to prevent heart disease.
Here’s a recipe to help you start off your day in a heart-healthy way.
Heart-Healthy Pecan Waffles (or Pancakes)
1 cup whole-wheat flour (If this is too heavy for your taste, use one-half cup all-purpose flour and one-half cup whole wheat flour)
½ cup quick-cooking oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ cup unsalted pecans, chopped
2 large eggs, separated (For pancakes, see note)
1 ½ cups fat-free (skim) milk
1 tablespoon canola oil
For fruit topping:
2 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed, stems removed, and cut in half (You can substitute frozen strawberries, thawed)
1 cup fresh blackberries, rinsed (You can substitute frozen blackberries, thawed)
1 cup fresh blueberries, rinsed (You can substitute frozen blueberries, thawed)
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
Tip: If you don’t happen to have fresh/frozen fruits on hand, just use unsweetened applesauce, instead.
- Preheat waffle iron.
- Combine flour, oats, baking powder, sugar and pecans in large bowl.
- Combine egg yolks, milk and canola oil in a separate bowl. Mix well.
- Add liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and stir together. Do not overmix. Mixture should be a bit lumpy.
- Whip egg whites to medium peaks. Gently fold egg whites into batter (for pancakes, see note below).
- Pour batter into preheated waffle iron. Cook waffle until iron light signals it is done (or steam stops coming out sides). Waffles are considered perfectly done when they are crisp and well-browned on both sides with a light, fluffy inside.
- Add fresh fruit to each waffle (or pancake stack), and dust lightly with powdered sugar before serving.
Note: For pancakes, do not separate eggs. Just mix the whole eggs with milk and oil (eliminate steps 4 & 5).
Betsy Crisp recently retired from a 29-year career as an Extension Family & Consumer Sciences agent and a licensed dietitian for the University of Florida/IFAS.
Published February 22, 2017