To sum up the past issues on diseases of the heart and blood vessels, what foods then should be consumed?
- Go for less processed rice or cereals. Brown or red rice rather than white rice. Whole wheat not enriched flour for bread. Choose whole grain oats.
- Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. One serving is equivalent to ½ cup of vegetables, one regular slice of papaya, pineapple, watermelon and the like or ½ slice of medium-size mango or 1 regular piece of lakatan. If juice, blenderized juice includes pulp unlike that processed in a juicer. Canned fruits maybe high in sodium. Read labels.
- For protein, use legumes/dried beans, fish and chicken not red meat (pork, beef). Choose fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, mackerel as these are rich in omega fatty acids. If red meat, remove visible fat before cooking. All foods of animal origin contain cholesterol but some have less. Organ meats like liver, brain, sweetbreads, shrimp, crab, egg yolk are high in cholesterol. Processed meats are high in sodium so reduce if not eliminate. Only 3-5 servings of protein-rich foods be consumed in one day by adults. One serving is equivalent to 1 small matchbox size, 1 slice chicken like 1 piece leg, 1 small fish like tilapia.
- While everyone should consume one serving of milk daily – ½ cup evap or 5 tablespoon powdered milk or their equivalent, prefer low fat milk. Limit use of milk products high in saturated fat or sodium – butter, sour cream, processed cheese, ice cream.
- Limit fats and oils. Use vegetable oils like soybean, corn oil instead of butter or lard. Unsalted nuts, seeds or avocados be used in your salads.
- If still allowed to use salt, use at the end of cooking. Salt substitutes, if available or better yet, use spices and herbs for flavor.
- Transfats are not good. Read labels. French fries in fast food restaurants and most if not, all bakery products are prepared with transfats. Hydrogenated vegetable oil is a transfat.
- Limit/Control calorie intake to avoid excessive weight and triglycerides. All foods that provide carbohydrates, protein and fats provide calories. Rice, fats, sugars and alternatives, whole milk, medium to high fat meat are high in calories.