Learn how to make a heart healthy lunch
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Watch: Iceburgh’s Heart-Healthy Lunch

 

When you’re the mascot of the Pittsburgh Penguins®, no two days are alike.

To keep up with his busy schedule, Iceburgh makes sure his heart stays in great shape by getting plenty of sleep, exercising, and eating heart-healthy foods.

Let’s check out the heart-healthy lunch Iceburgh is carrying in his Pittsburgh Penguins® lunchbox today:

Tuna Salad Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread

  • 1 can unsalted white tuna packed in water; drained
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup fat-free mayonnaise
  • 2 lettuce leaves
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread

More About His Lunch

Penguins love eating fish, and many types of fish are heart healthy — so it makes sense that Iceburgh has tuna in his lunchbox. Tuna is high in omega-3 fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and decrease cholesterol.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in many different types of fish, including salmon, lake trout, mackerel, herring, and sardines. They contain the most omega-3 fatty acids, making them the best fish for your heart.

In order to make his tuna salad sandwich as healthy as possible, Iceburgh used whole-wheat bread, which is higher in fiber and nutrients than white bread. Fat-free or reduced-fat mayonnaise is a lower calorie option. By choosing unsalted white tuna, Iceburgh reduced the sodium in his meal.

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Carrot sticks

We’re always told to eat our veggies, but did you know that veggies actually play a large role in keeping your heart healthy? Iceburgh did – so he packed lots of yummy carrots sticks in his lunch!

Snacking on veggies is an easy way to get lots of heart healthy vitamins into your diet! Carrots, which contain vitamins A, K, and C, are an excellent option to help keep hearts healthy. Vitamin A can help prevent hypertrophy – the thickening of the ventricular wall. Vitamins K helps prevent blood clotting, while Vitamin C combats the development of coronary heart disease.

Apple slices

Apple slices make the perfect addition to Iceburgh’s lunch. Sweet and crunchy, apples are packed with nutrients and vitamins and low in calories, making them another good snack for heart-healthy eating.

Water

Iceburgh spends lots of time on the ice, so he knows that H2O is important for overall good health.

The average heart pumps 2,000 gallons of blood every day; being well hydrated makes that task much easier. A dehydrated heart retains sodium and leads to a decrease in blood being pumped, resulting in heart palpitations. (If you have heart failure, be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations for restricting fluids.)

Drinking water is the best way for staying hydrated. Sugary, sweetened, carbonated beverages will dehydrate you and fill your body with empty calories.

Visit the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute website for more information.