eating for a healthy heart

Eating for Heart Health

eating for a healthy heartWith February being Heart Health month, I reached out to my sister to ask for tips on eating for better heart health. Alexandra Agasar is a Registered Dietitian (RD) with experience working at Temple Health, Jefferson, and, currently, Penn Medicine. She recently became a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist and is a wealth of knowledge about nutrition and health in general. Here are some of the nuggets she provided to think about when making food choices to benefit heart health.

  • Too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, which makes the heart work harder. Check the nutrition label for sodium content in soups, frozen meals, and packaged foods.
  • All fats are not created equal. Choose olive oil, nuts, seeds, fatty fish, and avocado more often. Limit breakfast meats and other fatty meats, baked goods, and butter.
  • Ultra-processed foods like chips, cereal, fast-food, and sweets can put you at risk for high blood pressure, heart disease and heart attack.
  • Eating past fullness and mindless eating can increase blood sugar quickly, putting extra stress on the heart. Listen to your body and stop eating when comfortably full.
  • Eat more fiber! Most Americans do not eat enough. Fiber can decrease cholesterol and promote overall health. Produce, whole-grains, beans, lentils are all good sources.

In addition to those helpful hints to think about when selecting or creating your meals, Alex also picked out a more heart health-conscious recipe for you to try. This should be a great meal to try as the weather starts to warm up!

Turkey Meatball Gyro Recipe


  • 1 lb. lean ground white meat turkey
  • 1 large egg white
  • 4 scallions, 2 finely chopped and 2 thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 peppers (1 orange and 1 red), quartered, then thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 c. small grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 c. low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 thin pitas


  1. Heat broiler and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with nonstick foil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, egg white, chopped scallions, dill, cumin, coriander, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Shape the mixture into 20 small patties and place on the prepared sheet. Broil until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the top.
  3. In a clean bowl, squeeze the juice of the remaining lemon half. Add the peppers, jalapeño, tomatoes, oil, sliced scallion, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and toss to combine.
  4. Spread the yogurt on the pitas, top with the burgers and spoon the pepper relish over the top.

If you have any questions regarding eating for better heart health, reach out to our Hatboro office to schedule a consultation. We take a holistic approach when assessing our patients, and we’d love to help you achieve your health goals!