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Four Heavenly, Heart-Healthy Entrees

Warm heart and soul this Valentine's Day with easy-to-make entrees that are as good for you as they are delicious.

Pecan-Crusted Roasted Salmon

Salmon is one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids and that's good news for your heart. Studies show they decrease the risk of heart arrhythmias, lower triglycerides (a kind of fat linked to heart disease), and slow the development of plaque in blood vessels. Try to get two servings of fatty fish -- think salmon, tuna, and lake trout -- per week. 

4 salmon filets (4–6 oz each)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp seasoned bread crumbs
2 tbsp chopped pecans
1 tsp parsley
fresh lemon wedges

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Lightly sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper. Place salmon skin side down on baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
  3. Combine mustard and honey, and brush on top of salmon.
  4. Mix topping of bread crumbs, nuts, and parsley and sprinkle over salmon, pressing into honey mustard mixture. 
  5. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until flaky.
  6. Serve with fresh lemon wedges.

Makes: 4 servings

Nutrition Information: Per serving: Calories: 265, 108 calories from fat; 12 g fat; 1.6 g saturated fat; 78 mg cholesterol; 282 mg sodium; 9 g carbohydrate; 0.4 g fiber; 29 g protein. Calories from fat: 42%.

Pantry Picks: A Guide to Heart-Healthy Foods at the Grocery Store

Heart-healthy eating starts in the grocery store. What to buy? WebMD’s director of nutrition, Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD, suggests looking for staples like these as you make your way through the aisles.

Plant sterol–enriched foods contain concentrated plant substances that can block cholesterol absorption and help lower blood cholesterol. Choices include Minute Maid Heart Wise orange juice; Yoplait Healthy Heart yogurt; and Smart Balance, Benecol, or Promise Activ spreads.

Oats are famous for their cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber. Choose from oat-rich products like Old Fashioned Quaker Oats, General Mills Cheerios (made with whole grain oats), and Kashi Heart to Heart cereals.

Legumes are excellent heart-healthy substitutes for meat, so stack a few cans of beans (black, kidney, or pinto), lentils, or peas in your cart. Try Bush’s Best beans, Eden Organic, or Progresso brands, all available in no-sodium or no-salt-added varieties.

Salmon or other fatty fish are the best sources of cardio-protective omega-3 fatty acids, key for lowering triglycerides and improving blood vessel health. Keep items like Bumble Bee wild salmon pouches or cans of water-packed tuna in your pantry.

Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats, which can help reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Extra virgin olive oils are the purest, made from olives that are crushed and pressed without heat or chemical treatment and have the highest levels of heart-healthy polyphenols. Check out brands like Alma Gourmet and Pompeian.

(WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.)

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Reviewed on December 22, 2009

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