Pancake recipe - pic1

Ingredient swaps like chickpea flour instead of white flour, and ground flaxseed instead of eggs, make classic, hearty meals like pancakes a heart-healthy option for everyday meals.

When it comes to the health of our hearts, the food we eat matters. According to the National Institutes of Health, the standard “Western diet” that most Americans consume — low in produce, whole grains, fish, plant-based protein and fiber, and high in sodium, added sugar, unhealthy fats and highly processed foods — is linked to increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. It can feel overwhelming to try to pick out foods that are good for our health, while also being affordable, accessible in our busy lives, and — perhaps most importantly — taste good.

“I always want my patients to know that they don’t have to eat food they don’t like, because there are so many options out there that taste great while also being great for our bodies,” said Jean Copeland, RDN, LD, a clinical dietitian nutritionist with the Heart & Vascular Center at Dartmouth Health’s Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. “In fact, making some easy swaps in certain ingredients can take most of the recipes we love from being not the best choice, to something that’s filling, nutritious, and delicious.”