Dietitian offers well-researched heart-healthy foods

Most people know that oatmeal, red wine, salmon and walnuts are headliners in the heart health world.

But dietitian Patricia Bannan says there is some recent research that points to other foods that might surprise you.

"There's tons of research showing your lifestyle and what you eat can play a big impact on your heart health," she said.

So let's eat! Did you know that barley is a cholesterol fighter?

"All grains have been shown to be healthy and the recommendation is three servings a day of whole grains, but particularly barley, which mimics oatmeal because it has that soluble fiber and beta-glucan which has been shown to help reduce bad cholesterol levels" Bannan said.

Another item that's new on the scene is Montmorency tart cherries.

"They might also be labeled sour cherries. You can get them year-round: powdered, juiced, canned, frozen," Bannan said.

Their ruby red color provides the antioxidant anthocyanin that offers the benefits.

"A recent study found in the journal of Nutrition found that those who drink cherry juice daily in their diet for a 12-week period had reduced systolic blood pressure and reduced LDL or bad cholesterol levels," Bannan said.

Beyond walnuts, all nuts offer heart-healthy properties. And Instead of beans and legumes, give edamame a try.

Trade salmon for anchovies, sardines, crab meat and other fatty fish to provide the boost of DHA/EPA omega three fats that help our heart.

There are also DHA omega three fat enhanced foods you can try if you're not a fan of fish.

Keep in mind the foods that have supplemental DHA are good for you, but they don't have the same amounts omega three fats in a serving of fatty fish so just keep them in your diet.

Make a cherry smoothie or maybe build a bowl or jar of barley, edamame, tart cherries and pistachios. Tasty ways to help your ticker.
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