February is American Heart Month, but we think it’s important to love your heart every day! So, we sat down with Amy Davis, RD, Swerve’s registered dietitian, to find out how people can improve their heart health with a few simple swaps.
Q. People often think that eating a heart healthy diet means they must eat food that doesn’t taste good. Do you agree?
I am a registered dietitian, but that doesn’t make me the food police! My goal as a dietitian is to help people enjoy their favorite foods while also staying healthy. One of my favorite ways to do this is to help people identify healthy swaps that improve overall nutrition but still leave them feeling satisfied.
Q. What’s one food that comes to mind that we should be cutting back on to improve overall cardiovascular health?
A. Unfortunately, we know that heart disease is a major concern in the US. In fact, not to be a “Debbie-Downer”, but it’s the leading cause of death in our country. In a study published in 2014 in JAMA Internal Medicine, the researchers found that the higher the intake of added sugars, the higher the risk for heart disease. According the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the average person in the US is eating about 17 teaspoons of added sugar per day – about five more than the recommended maximum amount. “Added sugar” is the refined sugar added to foods- not the naturally occurring sugars found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The good news is cutting back on added sugar might be easier than you think!
Q. We sure do love cake. Do tell!
A. You don’t have to cut out all sugar. Some sugar is perfectly acceptable and to be expected. But there is one simple thing you can do to cut back on sugar in your coffee, baked goods, and favorite recipes. Swap sugar for Swerve! Swerve is a zero-calorie sugar replacement which tastes and measures like sugar and is made from a unique blend of ingredients found in select fruits and starchy root vegetables. Swerve products contain no artificial ingredients, preservatives or flavors. All Swerve products are non-GMO verified, low-glycemic, ketogenic, natural, tummy-friendly, and were born and raised in the foodie heart of the US, New Orleans. Check out the Swerve recipe database for inspiration. It has everything from decadent chocolate cake to dairy-free raspberry mousse and even ice cream!
Q. YUM! Thanks for sharing that secret weapon with us. Where can people learn more?
A. If you’re curious about how Swerve is made, there’s a neat infographic on the website that explains the process. Another important thing to note is that Swerve is a smart choice for people living with Diabetes because it’s non-glycemic. People living with Diabetes are at a greater risk for developing heart disease, so it’s extra important to find healthy swaps if this relates to you!