Did you know that the number one cause of death in the United States is actually heart disease? This just goes to show that it is super important that we prioritize keeping our hearts healthy so that we lessen our chances of developing a heart condition. One of the main ways that we can do this is through the foods that we eat and the way that we prepare them. Here are some tips from a registered dietician on how to cook and eat with heart health in mind!

The average age of a farmer and rancher, according to the last conducted USDA Census of Agriculture, is 61. This is the age when we may notice these important heart-healthy issues, though we should address them in our 20s. But it’s never too late to start. The first step to focusing on your health is to get a wellness checkup and see how well your “ticker” is functioning.

Buy heart-healthy Foods.

When cooking with heart health in mind in mind, the best place to start is with the ingredients that we buy. The American Heart Association provides a convenient and comprehensive list of heart-healthy food items. The following foods are just some of the main kinds of heart-healthy foods that they suggest.

  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Lean meats
  • Whole grain breads
  • Beans
  • Oats
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Oils

You might have noticed that all those healthy foods listed above we grow here in Arizona. As a farmer, you might be growing some of these healthy foods.

Drink caffeine 

If you’re like me, it’s hard to get going in the morning without first having some coffee. Lucky for those of us who love coffee, it turns out that it is actually very heart-healthy! Specifically, one to two cups of coffee has been linked to reduced risk of heart failure!


Eat the heart-healthy duo for breakfast. 

Fiber and protein are essential nutrients when it comes to promoting heart health. This is because fiber helps to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and protein benefits your muscular, brain, and heart health. Eating these two nutrients first thing in the morning is a great way to get your day off to a healthy start.


When you’re cooking meals for yourself, remember to prioritize your heart health by buying the right foods and drinks, and eating the right nutrients! Arizona agriculture produces many of those heart-healthy foods listed above, so make sure to look for locally grown and produced products when you’re at the store! 
 For more health-related articles, check out the Fill Your Plate blog!

Additionally, check out all your health-focused member benefits on Arizona Farm Bureau’s website. As farmers and ranchers running businesses and raising families, we need to make our health a priority. One of our farmers credits our Lifeline Screening benefit with keeping him healthy as the prescreening health service let him know exactly how healthy his heart is. He was focused on a healthy future after the screening too.