February is National Heart Health Month and experts agree that one of the best ways to help reduce the risk of heart disease is to pay attention to what we put in our bodies. Registered dietitian Ellie Krieger shares some ideas for heart healthy swaps in our daily diet.
"What you eat really can make a huge difference," Krieger says. "Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women, so its something really important to pay attention to."
"You can't go wrong with a nice hearty bowl of oatmeal to start your day. Oats are whole-grain and getting more whole-grains helps your heart. Oats also have beta-glucan, a fiber that has been shown in research to potentially prevent heart disease."
"Swapping white flour for whole grains is another heart healthy choice you can make daily. Take regular, old-fashioned oats and put them in a blender or food processor to make flour. You'll get a heart healthy fine grain flour you can use for muffins, pancakes and breads."
To stay heart healthy... you don't have to skip dessert.
"When baking, you can use olive oil or neutral olive oil instead of butter," Krieger says. "For a lot of recipes, I use whole fruit instead of refined sugar to add sweetness. You can also replace refined sugar with a ripe banana."
For more recipes and heart helping ingredients, visit QuakerOats.com.