Game On, Heart Disease Off with Healthier Dude Food

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Nothing goes together more than men and sports—and among cheers for touchdowns, tackles, and sacks are requests to pass the chips, wings, and pizza. But heart health doesn't have to be compromised along the way. In honor of American Heart Month in February 2012, CanolaInfo is promoting heart-smart eating "dude style." Ten recipes made with canola oil will help guys get their game on without sacking their heart.

"Sometimes men take a fatalistic approach to heart health," says nutrition consultant Christopher Mohr, PhD, RD. "They think if someone in their family had heart disease, it's over for them the same way, but really, they can prevent it up to 80 percent of the time with a healthy diet and lifestyle."

On the flip side, some men, especially when young, think they're invincible and don't have to worry about heart health because they're active. But statistics suggest otherwise: cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the number one killer of US. men, accounting for about one-third of all deaths. Men have a higher incidence of CVD than women and tend to experience their first cardiac event earlier. In fact:

>> Between 70 percent and 89 percent of sudden cardiac events occur in men. Half of men who die suddenly of heart disease have no previous symptoms.

>> Before 75 years of age, more men than women experience CVD events due to heart disease.

To combat these statistics, CanolaInfo created a "Heart-Healthy Dude Food Recipe Collection" to encourage men to cook with some of their favorite ingredients in a heart-healthier way. Recipes include:

>> Hoisin-Whiskey Glazed Meatballs
>> Deep, Dark and Stout Chili
>> Beef Tenderloin with Balsamic-Coffee Sauce
>> Herbed Pork Chops on Mustard Sauce
>> Fall-Apart Beer Brisket
>> Grilled Tuna Steaks with Cilantro and Basil

Each recipe is made with canola oil, which has the least saturated fat and most omega-3 fat of all cooking oils. The US Food and Drug Administration authorized a qualified health claim for canola oil on its potential to reduce the risk of heart disease when used in place of saturated fat.

"I don't tell my patients to give up their favorite foods," Mohr says. "I simply encourage them to make smarter choices, like substituting canola oil for solid fats or other oils and choosing lean cuts of meat, and to be mindful of portion sizes."

In addition to the recipe collection, CanolaInfo has launched an American Heart Month e-card program. From now until the end of February, for every e-card sent at CanolaInfo.org, CanolaInfo will donate 20 cents to the American Heart Association up to $20,000. The money will help the AHA meet its goal to improve the heart health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20 percent by the year 2020.