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Heart-Healthy Food Substitutions

Posted By Colleen Dougherty, NC Recreation & Park Association, Monday, December 21, 2015
Updated: Friday, December 18, 2015

Happy Monday,

We often find ourselves cooking more during the festive winter season! This blog discusses some heart-healthy substitutions that you can incorporate in your daily meal preparation or when cooking for special gatherings.

First, flour is a very common ingredient. So instead of white, processed flour try to incorporate whole-wheat flour into your baking. Whole grains contain the entire grain, and are more fibrous than their white, processed counterparts. Secondly, unsweetened applesauce, or any fruit puree, can often replace butter or oil, as well as reduce the amount of saturated fat in your meals. Chili, pasta sauce, and heavier foods with red meat are common during the winter months. Reducing your consumption of red meat is a serious step in reducing your chances of heart disease, so consider replacing your red meat with ground turkey! This way you can still have your favorite winter meals, but a healthier version. Another healthier substitution for common ingredients is using egg whites instead of whole eggs. When it comes to baking, egg whites can generally replace the need for a whole egg.  Losing the yolk helps to cut cholesterol intake without cutting the flavor. For more healthy baking substitutes be sure to read the 9 Health Substitutions for Everyday Foods by the American Heart Association. Additionally, refer back to our Health Cooking/Nutrition Programs for more ideas and information on healthy eating practices. Don’t forget to share this information with your department and community using social media, such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

Coming up in January the next Wellness Webinar will be hosted by Greg Walker of Fletcher Parks and Recreation, and Mark Scott, owner of Fleet Feet Sports in Asheville. The webinar will focus on organizing a 5k run/walk in your own community. The webinar will take place on Tuesday, January 12th at 1:00pm. To register please click the link:

This coming April 2016, NCRPA is partnering with departments statewide to host the first ever statewide Recre8 5k! If you have never organized a 5k race in your community, then participating in the 5k Webinar will be extremely useful information! For more information on how to get your department involved in the Recre8 5k race, visit the race page:, or contact myself ( ) or matt (

I challenge all of you during the rest of December to engage yourself in healthy holiday eating practices and to exercise regularly. If you have any healthy eating ideas or exercise tips during the holiday season then please email us or submit them on the wellness site here: (colleen@ncrpa.net


Tags:  Healthy Cooking  Healthy Eating  Holiday Season  NCRPA  Wellness bulletin 

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