Enjoying Filipino Food without compromise
Discovering the heartiness of Pinoy cuisine can be a personal journey, but it’s crucial to keep the heart healthy along the way. MakatiMed lays out three strategies to enjoy Filipino flavors without compromising cardiovascular wellness.
Filipinos have a passion for food, with a whopping 97% showing love for their cuisine, according to a survey by YouGov. It’s no surprise considering the diverse influences and rich flavors that characterize Filipino dishes, from the salty-sour-sweet balance to the indulgent fried delights often paired with generous servings of rice.
Yet, indulgence can have consequences, especially when coupled with sedentary habits, smoking, and excessive drinking. Heart disease looms as a significant concern among Pinoys, as highlighted by Dr. Noel L. Rosas from Makati Medical Center (MakatiMed), citing statistics showing heart disease as the leading cause of death in the Philippines in 2022.
Despite these alarming figures, Dr. Rosas emphasizes that simple lifestyle changes can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease. Moderating exercise, limiting alcohol intake, quitting smoking, and making smarter food choices can all play pivotal roles in maintaining heart health.
MakatiMed offers practical advice on enjoying Filipino cuisine while prioritizing heart wellness:
Three Strategies for Heart-Smart Filipino Dining
Embrace Fruits and Vegetables
These natural wonders add vibrancy to your plate and boast numerous cardiovascular benefits. From kangkong to ampalaya, kamatis to along, the Philippines offers many options contributing to heart health. Avocado and citrus fruits like kiat-kiat, kalamansi, and pomelo are also recommended for their immune-boosting properties.
Opt for Lean Protein
While indulging in beloved dishes like lechon is part of the joy of Filipino gatherings, it’s wise to prioritize lean protein choices. Selecting lean cuts of pork and beef, skinless chicken breast, and fish like tuna and salmon can provide essential nutrients while minimizing saturated fats.
How food is prepared dramatically affects heart health. While the allure of fried foods is undeniable, their impact on cardiovascular wellness is less so. Opting for cooking methods like boiling and steaming preserves flavor and minimizes the intake of unhealthy fats.
MakatiMed offers assistance through their On-Call service, email, and social media channels for those seeking further guidance. With these strategies, enjoying the richness of Pinoy cuisine can go hand in hand with maintaining a healthy heart.