To ensure our heart stays strong, we must follow a healthy lifestyle. That includes getting regular exercise and following a heart-healthy diet. We all know that our diet greatly impacts our health. Eating a diet high in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol has been linked to heart disease and related conditions, such as atherosclerosis. A high sodium intake can increase your blood pressure, which also affects your cardiovascular system.
By watching what you eat, you can keep your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels normal and lower your risk for heart disease and heart attack. When people hear the word “diet” they immediately think no fun and foods with no flavor. But that is definitely not the case. It’s more about what you should try to avoid, such as foods high in saturated fat and sodium.
A heart-healthy diet can include a lot of the foods you know and love, including mac and cheese. When you think heart-healthy, you don’t exactly think of gooey, cheesy pasta. But this recipe cuts down on the fat and sodium to make a classic not just delicious but also heart worthy.
Classic Heart-Healthy Mac and Cheese
This recipe proves you don’t have to give up your favorite dishes to eat heart-healthy meals—here’s a lower-fat version of a true classic.
Recipe Source: Deliciously Healthy Dinners
2 C macaroni
½ C onion, chopped
½ C fat-free evaporated milk
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1¼ C (4 oz) low-fat sharp cheddar cheese, finely shredded
- Cook macaroni according to package directions—but do not add salt to the cooking water. Drain and set aside.
- Spray casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Preheat oven to 350 °F.
- Lightly spray saucepan with nonstick cooking spray. Add onion to saucepan and sauté for about 3 minutes over medium heat.
- In a bowl, combine macaroni, onion, and the remaining ingredients, and mix thoroughly.
- Transfer mixture into casserole dish.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.