Heart Research UK Healthy Heart Tip, written by Dr Helen Flaherty, Head of Health Promotion at Heart Research UK
JULY IS National Picnic month and this is a good time to get outdoors to celebrate the warm weather and enjoy some tasty food with friends and family. An outdoor picnic can provide the perfect setting for some fun activities to get your heart pumping.
Make your picnic a healthy one by following our healthy tips:
Choose a location for your picnic
Plan your picnic in a relaxing spot where you can include a brisk walk or some fun activities, such as a game of frisbee or rounders. Getting plenty of physical activity can help to keep your heart healthy.
Avoid too much fat, salt and sugar
A diet that includes too much salt, fat and sugar is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Instead of taking crisps, salted nuts, sausage rolls, cakes, chocolate and sugary drinks on your picnic, choose healthier options, such as unsalted nuts, lean meat (e.g. chicken breast), fresh fruit and veg, low-fat and low-sugar yoghurts and sugar-free drinks or water.
Switch to wholegrain
Wholegrain foods are a good source of nutrients, including fibre, which is good for your heart. Try switching from white bread to wholemeal bread for your sandwiches or wholemeal pita or wraps. Salads can include wholemeal pasta or brown rice to
increase your fibre intake.
Pack in the fruit and veg
Pack raw veg sticks, such as carrots celery, peppers, cucumber and sugar snap peas to have with healthy dips, such as low-fat hummus or tzatziki. For a healthy dessert, you could try making a fresh fruit salad or fruit skewers served with low-fat and low-sugar yoghurt.
Find healthy and delicious recipes for your picnic
There are plenty of healthy picnic recipes available online, such as the BBC Good Food Healthy Picnic Recipes https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/healthy-picnic