March is National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month, and the American Heart Association offers several programs to help keep you heart-healthy this spring. Shop Smart. Live Well. Look for the heart-check mark SM ...

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March is National Nutrition Month, and the

American Heart Association

offers several programs to help keep you heart-healthy this spring.

Shop Smart. Live Well. Look for the heart-check mark


We're making it easier for you to shop for heart-healthy foods, simply by looking for the heart-check mark on your favorite brands. It's a reliable tool you can use as a first step in creating a heart-healthy eating plan for you and your family.

Looking for a few good tricks to help you bounce back into shape this spring? Mastering a few techniques in how you cook can help you create a healthier diet without losing out on flavor.

    Here are a few from our best-selling library of cookbooks:

  • Roast vegetables in a hot oven to caramelize their natural sugars and bring out flavor.

  • Cut down on saturated fat in creamy dressings by mixing in some nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt.

  • For breakfast, use two egg whites in place of one whole egg in omelets. And go ahead and eat as many egg whites as you like - they don't contain a bit of cholesterol and are an excellent source of protein.

    For cutting fat when cooking sweets:

  • Try doubling the amount of vanilla, or use 1 and 1/2 times the amount called for of citrus zest or almond extract .

  • In fruit recipes, add a touch of fresh mint for a blast of flavor.

  • Instead of a high-fat pie crust, try a meringue shell. Just make sure your bowl and beaters are completely clean so egg whites will whip properly.

    Some tips for dining out:

  • At the salad bar, use caution when choosing a "prepared" salad like potato or pasta salad, which often contains lots of mayonnaise and salt. And avoid pickled items such as olives, peppers and pickles, which are high in sodium.

  • Remove the breading, topping or sauce from your entre.

  • In Mexican food restaurants that serve complimentary fried tortilla chips, ask your waiter instead for soft corn tortillas to dip into the salsa. They have much less fat and fewer calories than the chips.

    These and other heart-healthy tips can be found in the best-selling

    American Heart Association cookbooks

    American Heart Association cookbooks

    published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House, Inc., and available from booksellers everywhere.

    Physical activity is also important to heart-healthy living. The American Heart Association's Choose To Move


    program introduces a new, streamlined 12-week guide for women who want to increase their physical activity and make heart-healthy food choices to lower their risk for heart disease and stroke, plus have more energy and vitality to juggle work, family and life's other demands.

    The Alliance for a Healthier Generation is a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation to fight childhood obesity. The following are just some of the ways this partnership is helping to fight childhood obesity.

    Healthy Schools Program
    With the help of an $8 million grant from the Robert Wood Foundation, the Alliance has launched a program to help schools provide healthier food options, more physical activity and staff wellness programs. Schools that meet set standards will receive bronze, silver or gold achievement awards.

    Healthier Snacks in Schools
    The new, science-based guidelines will provide kids with food and snack products that are lower in calories, reinforcing the nutrition lessons they learn at home and in the classroom about healthy, balanced diets.

    Healthier Beverages for Students
    Alliance and soft-drink industry leaders have announced guidelines to end school sales of beverages with more than 100 calories (except for high-nutrition milks and juices).

    For more information, contact the

    American Heart Association

    at 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit

    About the American Heart Association

    Founded in 1924, the American Heart Association today is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to reducing disability and death from diseases of the heart and stroke. These diseases, America's No. 1 and No. 3 killers, and all other cardiovascular diseases claim over 870,000 lives a year. In fiscal year 2005-06 the association invested over $543 million in research, professional and public education, advocacy and community service programs to help all Americans live longer, healthier lives. To learn more, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit

    Information provided courtesy of the

    American Heart Association

    , all rights reserved.

    For more information, contact:

    American Heart Association

    Long Island Region

    125 East Bethpage Road
    Plainview, NY 11803
    (516) 777-8447
    Jennifer Dimeo