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UHS Nutrition Services offers tips, recipes for heart-healthy eating

February 01, 2023

February is American Heart Month and the perfect time to take advantage of these heart-healthy tips and recipes from UHS Nutrition Services.

Our nutrition experts say a good place to start is by reducing the amount of sodium you are consuming:

  • Reduce the amount of takeout and prepared foods you are eating.
  • Prepare more meals at home.
  • Skip adding salt and other high sodium condiments to your food, such as soy sauce, ketchup, pickles and olives.
  • If you are using canned or prepared foods- choose "reduced-sodium", "low-sodium" and "no-added-salt."
  • Season foods with herbs, spices, garlic, onions, peppers and lemon or lime juice to add flavor.

Add more fruits and veggies:

  • Increase the number of fruits and vegetables you are eating. Fresh, frozen and canned can all be healthy options!
  • Look for reduced sodium canned veggies, avoid frozen veggies with added sauce.
  • Choose canned fruits that are packed in water instead of juice.

Increase your fiber intake:

  • Make sure your grains are grains such as, oatmeal, quinoa and brown rice.
    Choose whole grain breads and cereals.

Choose heart-friendly fats:

  • Heart-friendly fats include olive oil, avocados, walnuts and almonds.
  • Avoid or limit foods like bacon, butter, red meat and ice cream. 

Don't be afraid to try new things! 

  • Foods such as beans, lentils and fatty fish can also be a tasty addition to your heart healthy lifestyle!

Heart-Healthy Recipes

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie


  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes
  • OR
  • 45 oz. canned, unsweetened yams or sweet potatoes in water, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon or nutmeg
  • non-stick Cooking spray
  • 1 medium onion (any color), chopped
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), seeded, chopped
  • 1 lb. extra-lean, fat-free, ground turkey (95%-99% lean)
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme or basil
  • 16 oz. frozen vegetable medley (like green beans, corn, and peas) or whatever is on sale, thawed
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch


  • Preheat the oven to 400° F.
  • Wash and peel sweet potatoes. Chop into 1-inch pieces.
  • Add to a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until potatoes are very tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Drain in a colander.
  • Return sweet potatoes to pot. Add milk, cinnamon, or nutmeg. Mash with a fork or potato masher until smooth.
  • Spray large pan with cooking spray. Add chopped onion and bell pepper and cook over medium-high heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add meat and thyme, cooking until done, about 5 more minutes.
  • Add vegetables, beef broth, and cornstarch, stirring to combine. Cook a few minutes until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat.
  • Add beef mixture into an 8- or 9-inch baking dish. Spread the sweet potatoes evenly on top of the beef and vegetables. Cook in oven until entirely heated, about 15 minutes.
  • Spinach stuffed baked salmon

Spinach stuffed baked salmon


  • 3 ounces fish and 1/2 cup vegetables
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (extra virgin preferred)
  • 2 ounces spinach
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers, rinsed and drained if bottled
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 salmon fillets (about 4 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard (lowest sodium available)
  • 2 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs (lowest sodium available)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the spinach and lemon zest for 2 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted, stirring constantly. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in the roasted peppers, basil, and walnuts. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly spray the foil with cooking spray.
  • Cut a lengthwise slit in the side of each fillet to make a pocket for the stuffing. Be careful to not cut through to the other side. With a spoon or your fingers, carefully stuff a scant 1/2 cup spinach mixture into each fillet. Transfer to the baking sheet. With a pastry brush or spoon, spread the mustard over the fish.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients. Sprinkle over the fish. Lightly spray the top with cooking spray.
  • Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, or until the fish is the desired doneness and the filling is heated through.
  • The recipes I pulled from the American Heart Association

Learn more about UHS Nutrition Services by clicking here.