Reading List: Improving Heart Health & Dirty Bagged Greens

In this week’s nutrition news: Kicking off Heart Healthy Month, understanding good-for-you fats and how the Super Bowl can bring on a heart attack.

In this week’s nutrition news: Kicking off Heart Healthy Month (that's February!), understanding good-for-you fats and how the Super Bowl can bring on a heart attack.

Super Bowl: A Heart-Wrenching Game

You might be pumped for Super Bowl Sunday, but did you know the game could be stressful on your heart? A study published in the American Journal of Cardiology found that the number of heart attacks went up when the Rams lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers during the highly charged 1980 game. However, when the Raiders easily beat the Washington Redskins in 1984, the level of heart attacks dropped. In addition to a stressful game, poor food choices and lots of alcohol may contribute to heart trouble come game time. Think about adding some healthier options to your Super Bowl spread — here are our favorite nibblers.

Top States for Heart Attacks

Speaking of heart attacks, if you live in the southeast, you’re living in the “Heart Attack Belt.” Studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that folks living in this region have the highest risk for heart attacks -- Mississippi came in at the top. Southern states often show up on lists ranking American obesity and other unhealthy habits. Considering a high-fat diet, being overweight, high cholesterol and/or smoking increases your risk for heart attack, no doubt diet and poor choices are playing a part here. Find out where your state ranks.

Understanding Heart-Healthy Fats

We often use the term “heart-healthy fats" but do you know what that means exactly? It’s the unsaturated fats (mono- and polyunsaturated) -- from olive oil, canola oil, nuts, fish and more -- that studies have found to be best for your heart. Here's a good explanation of what foods to pick up at the market so you get your fill.This month make a resolution to incorporate more of these foods into your diet.

Michael Pollan’s New Food Rules

The author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food is back with a new book -- Food Rules: An Eater's Manual. Oprah recently interviewed Pollan and he give tips on how to reduce processed foods and add more fresh foods to your diet. Pollan’s motto in this quick read is “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” I’ll be picking up a copy on my next trip to the bookstore.

Packaged Greens Loaded With Bacteria

New tests released from Consumer Reports show that packaged leafy greens (like spinach and lettuce) may contain certain harmful bacteria. How'd it get there? Courtesy of poor personal hygiene and sanitation practices (we won’t go into the icky details). A few tips to keep in mind if you opt for the bagged stuff: Buy packages that have a use-by date furthest in the future, wash the greens even if they’re “pre-washed” or “triple-washed” and make sure raw meat and poultry juices don’t get on your greens (a form of cross-contamination).

Keep Reading

Next Up

Reading List: Greener Eating and Crash Diets Dangers

In this week’s nutrition news: Mario Batali’s greener measures, recycling leftovers and restaurants offer smaller portioned dishes

Reading List: Dirty Airplane Food, Rising Obesity Rates, and Popular Cereals Recalled

In this week’s nutrition news: Adult obesity rates on the rise, ninety percent of Americans eat too much salt and CPSI asks the government to ban food dyes

Reading List: Organic Debate Continues, Heart-Healthy Chocolate and Tap Water Safety

In this week’s nutrition headlines: a study finds that organic foods are the healthier choice, new fiber-fortified products are on the market, and more good news for chocolate fans and the sweet's heart-healthy benefits.

Reading List: Anti-Energy Drinks, Airport Food Safety & the Green Restaurant Trend

In this week’s nutrition news: Caffeine to be listed on food products, the popularity of green restaurants and a look at calories in today’s home cooked meals

Reading List: The Gluten-Free Hype, Massive Egg Recall and Heart-Healthy Chocolate

In this week’s nutrition news: Rare heirloom veggies up for auction, gulf seafood finally being thoroughly tested and the gluten-free fad

Reading List: Exercise Beats the Flu, Trans Fats-Related Heart Attacks & China's New Rice

In this week’s nutrition news: More evidence that obesity decreases your life expectancy, drinking sugary sodas may lead to diabetes during pregnancy and China will soon produce genetically modified rice.

Legumes for Heart Health

Beans, beans are good for your heart—and so are peas and lentils! A new study concluded that beans, peas and lentils can help lower your risk of heart disease. Here are some delightful legume-filled dishes to include in your healthy eating plan

Reading List: Red Meat Gets The Green Light, Chemicals in Canned Foods and Fast Food Facts

In this week’s nutrition news: BPA found in canned food, individualized nutrition info on your food receipt and don’t be afraid to eat a burger

Reading List: Caffeine Hurts Your Heart, A Look at Cheap Food & A Pro Footballer Goes Veg

A new (rather graphic) ad wants to keep you from pouring on the pounds, coffee and alcohol are linked to irregular heartbeats and there's a new "veggie-filled" Goldfish snack on the market.

On TV

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.