Heart Disease Awareness Month
Thursday 11 February 2010
February is a month that pays tribute to the heart. Not only is romance in the air with Valentine’s Day this weekend but it's also Heart Disease Awareness month.
Heart disease is an umbrella term for a variety of different diseases affecting the heart. It’s the leading cause of death in the United States, England, Canada and Wales.
Obesity has soared by 60 per cent in the UK and unfortunately 2 out of 3 people aged 16 and over in the UK have more cholesterol in their bodies than is recommended. But this can be changed by making healthy choices in what we eat.
Heart disease is caused by factors that you can’t change, such as family history and getting older, but also by factors that you can, such as diet and lifestyle.
Having a high level of cholesterol, obesity, smoking, type 2 diabetes, stress and lack of exercise can all increase your chances of heart disease, but altering these is easy to do and can significantly lower your risk of future problems.
We’ve found some delicious recipes that can also help lower blood cholesterol, a risk factor in the development of Coronary Heart Disease.
Red mullet with fennel and sweet potato en papillote
Servings: 2 Preparation: 25 mins Cooking: 10 mins
2 sweet potatoes
2 baby carrots
1 fresh garlic clove
2 tablespoons of Benecol olive spread, or low fat spread.
Few sprigs of thyme, laurel and fennel
3 small red mullet fillets
2 finely chopped sprigs flat parsley
1. Cook the sweet potatoes in the salt water just like a regular potato. Leave to cool and set aside.
2. Thinly slice the carrots, shallots, the fennel, and the garlic. Mix them and then heat in 2 tablespoons of Benecol spread, without browning them.
3. Add the thyme and the laurel, and season. Moisten with one-quarter of its volume of water, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. Vegetables must be cooked but crisp.
4. Place a layer of thin slices of sweet potatoes on some waxed paper. Add 2 tablespoons of the vegetable mixture and then the red mullet fillets, cut into pieces.
5. Add a dash of anise liqueur to the fish, some sprigs of parsley and finish off with some ground pepper. Close the wax paper well and bake at 200°C for 7 minutes. Serve with the rest of the vegetable mixture ... and savour!
Artichoke with crab
Servings: 4 Preparation: 20 mins Cooking: 60 mins
4 tablespoons of Benecol spread, or other low fat spread.
240 g crab meat, crumbled
2 tablespoons parsley
2 tablespoons chives
1 dash lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
A pinch of ground pepper
1. Clean and peel the artichokes by removing the prickles and first 2 layers of leaves. Boil them in water for 30 to 45 minutes in a large saucepan until tender, and then let them cool.
2. Grease the oven tray with a small amount of Benecol spread and place it in the oven, which you preheat to 220°C.
3. Mix all the remaining ingredients in a bowl.
4. Stuff the artichokes with this mixture, and then bake them for about 20 minutes until they are golden.
Baked Lemon and Vanilla Cheesecake
Servings: 6 Preparation: 10 mins Cooking: 45 mins
- 125g (41⁄2oz) digestive biscuits, crushed
- 40g (11⁄2oz) Beneco spread
- 2 x 200g tub Benecol cream cheese style spread
- 2 eggs
- finely grated zest of 2 lemons plus juice of 1
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 110g (4oz) caster sugar
- a few raspberries to serve
1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/180C/fan oven 160C. Base line a 20cm (8in) spring form tin.
2. Mix together the biscuits and melted Benecol spread and press into the base of the tin. Chill until required.
3. In a large bowl, beat together the remaining ingredients, except the raspberries. Pour over the biscuit base and bake for 40-45 minutes until just set. Don’t worry if it cracks during cooking. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before chilling.
4. Serve in wedges decorated with raspberries.
Benecol, which helps to lower cholesterol, have created more recipes ideas on their website to keep your heart healthy.
By Clare Gittins
Want to keep your ticker healthy? Check out our delicious diet plan tailored for a healthy heart at Closer Diets.com.