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Heart Healthy: Tips and Information

Information for making the most of your meal plan.

With our Heart Healthy Meal Plans, you stack the odds in your favour. To take maximum advantage of our meal plans, take the time to read the information below.

Important Advice and Useful Tips

What you SHOULD do

  • If you are overweight, you must know that weight loss, even modest, could improve your health. Our Hearth Healthy Meal Plans are designed to help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • To find out which calorie level is right for you, compute your estimated energy requirements (EER).
  • To find out what your healthy body weight is, compute your body mass index ( BMI)
  • Getting regular exercise helps protecting heart’s health, reducing stress and loosing weigh, if needed. Exercise can be undertaken with a high level of safety by most people, including stroke survivors. However, exercise is not without risks. Therefore, all stroke survivors should, before beginning a physical conditioning regimen, undergo a complete medical history and a physical examination.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Find healthy ways to manage your stress.
  • Live smoke-free.
  • Drink enough fluids, i.e. 1 to 2 liters/quarts each day, including water, milk, soup, tea, coffee, juice, etc., distributed throughout the day.
  • Consult your Doctor if you have a medical condition. We also recommend that you consult a Registered Dietitian and tell her/him that you follow the SOSCuisine Meal Plans.

What you should watch out for

  • Choose products without trans fat. Make sure the list of ingredients does not show hydrogenated oil.
  • If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so with moderation: No more than one drink /day for women and two drinks/day for men.
  • Moderate your consumption of caffeine-containing beverages (coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, etc.)

What you should NOT do

  • If you see the ingredient “salt to taste” in a recipe, we advise your putting little or not at all, because salt is associated with hypertension. Also, reduce as much as possible your consumption of processed foods, as they are responsible for more than 75% of sodium intake. Choose fresh and seasonal products as much as possible.
  • Avoid medications with high sodium content, such as Aqua Seltzer, Bromo Seltzer and Rolaids.
Healthy with Pleasure Meal Plans
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FAQ: Heart Healthy

Why are almonds so present in the Heart Healthy meal plan?

Almonds are very rich in energy and good nutrients, such as fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. A dozen almonds or so are very effective when you have the munchies. Almonds are also very convenient to carry and don’t get rancid as quickly as walnuts, for example.

I have hypertension, diabetes and I want to lose weight. What meal plan should I choose?

We recommend that you consult your doctor and/or a registered dietitian that will give you the best advice in this regard.

This being said, you can choose one of the Diabetes Meal Plans, offered in three caloric levels: 1,500, 1,700 and 2,100 calories per day. To lose weight, you must choose a caloric level that is lower than your energy needs. A deficit of 500 calories per day will typically allow you to lose one pound (half a kilogram) per week, which is safe. Calculate your energy needs. If, for example, your energy requirement is 2,000 calories, choose the 1,500-calorie Meal Plans to achieve weight loss. Most of our female subscribers choose the 1,500-calorie Meal Plans, and most male subscribers choose the 1,700-calorie Meal Plans.

With regard to hypertension, the good news is that our Diabetes Meal Plans contain less than 7% saturated fat, zero trans fat, very little sodium (1,725 mg/day on average), plenty of fruits and vegetables (9 servings/day on average), fully comply with Canada’s Food Guide recommendations, and can therefore contribute to reduce your blood pressure.

How many times a week will I have fish if I subscribe to the Heart Healthy meal plan? Same question for beef?

Since this meal plan is based on the Mediterranean diet, you will have fish and seafood about 4 times a week. These foods are good choices because they are low in calories and high in essential unsaturated fats. Beef, on the other hand, will only be present once or twice a week because it is a significant source of saturated fats, which must be limited.

Why is there white rice in the meal plans? Brown rice is rich in fibre, and I thought it was recommended to avoid white rice.

It’s true that whole grain rice is richer in fibre than white rice. However, since our meal plans are based on the Mediterreanean diet and are full of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes in large quantities, your daily fibre needs are easily met. Too much fibre can encourage faster intestinal movements and discourage adequate nutrient absorption.

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Info Nutrition: Heart Healthy

The most recent recommendations (references) for a healthy heart consist of 40 nutritional targets that must be attained day after day, so as to lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, and prevent relapse.

  • Proper daily calorie intake, to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. We currently offer 3 caloric levels to best meet your needs: 1,600, 1,800 and 2,100 calories per day.
  • Optimal intake of vitamins and minerals, especially sodium, calcium, potassium and magnesium
  • Optimal intake and distribution of carbs, including fiber, fats and proteins
  • Optimal intake of good fats (monounsaturated, polyunsaturated) and optimal omega-6 / omega-3 ratio
  • No trans fat, and limited amounts of saturated fats and added/concentrated sugars
  • Appropriate number of servings of the 4 food groups of Canada’s Food Guide:
    • Vegetables and fruit, including 1 serving of dark green vegetables and 1 serving of orange vegetables every day
    • Grain products, including a majority of whole grain products
    • Low-fat milk and alternatives
    • Meat and alternatives, including fish
  • Adequate intake of foods that are specifically recommended (fat fish, soybeans, nuts and seeds, particularly almonds, legumes, garlic, onion, etc.)
  • Adequate intake of foods that need to be limited (coffee, alcohol, sweets, soft drinks, animal protein, fried foods, etc.)

The following table shows that our Heart Healthy Meal Plans have consistently met the nutritional recommendations since their launch, on February 3rd, 2011.

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IMPORTANT: The information provided on this website does not replace a medical consultation and is not intended for self diagnosis. We recommend that you seek the advice of your doctor or healthcare professional before undertaking a change to your diet or lifestyle. See Terms & Conditions.