Welcome to The Cooking Cardiologist Blog! I write about health, food and cooking from my perspective as a cardiologist (as you can imagine, there’s a lot to know). If you don’t see something you’re interested to know, please ask!
Whether at a football game, holiday party or eating your favorite comfort food, cheese can easily make eating healthy tricky. Think about it. Pizza, pasta, appetizers, they are usually all piled high with gooey cheese.
Like I always say, you don’t have to deprive yourself to eat heart healthy. Just follow a few of my tips for eating cheeses without having to feel guilty for indulging yourself.
If you set out the cheese before the meal, when everyone is hungriest, lots will be eaten. Instead use bean spreads like hummus or a spread made from white beans. A few appetizing vegetables like fresh roasted pepper, olive tapenades, or chunks of artichoke hearts settle nicely on a cracker, as will a sardine salad or Mediterranean tuna salad.
Great cheeses should be enjoyed at the end of the meal, with some fruit and nuts. After the meal, with hunger satisfied, a small chunk can still delight the senses.
Add a touch of Parmesan cheese to garlic, basil and any grilled vegetable to satisfy a pizza craving.
Never use macaroni with cheese or fettuccine Alfredo as the centerpiece of the meal. At the very most, a small portion can be added alongside a much larger portion of cooked vegetable and salad. And look to move the cheese and simple carbohydrate recipe out of your eating routines. Reserved them for special occasions only.
Finding better ways to eat the foods you love makes improving your heart health easier. For some great, heart-healthy appetizers for your holiday parties, check out my cookbook.