Looking for heart-healthy Thanksgiving recipes that are also delicious? Try these 29 nutritious , dietitian-approved ideas.
Looking to have a heart-healthy Thanksgiving? Well, you’re in luck because you can easily get your fix of good-for-your-heart ingredients––including EPA and DHA omega-3s––with some careful menu planning.
This is my favorite time of year, when the air turns crisp and the holidays are around the corner––which means it’s time to start thinking about healthy holiday recipes.
While Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday, I really love any excuse to get friends and family together for a meal. And I always want to bring the best heart-healthy recipes to the table.
Now, add these healthy-heart recipes to your Thanksgiving dinner menu, pronto!
If you’re looking to improve heart health, you’ll want to listen up. The omega-3s EPA and DHA have many health benefits, but I’m going to focus on one in particular, heart health.
A study in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that higher EPA and DHA levels are connected with lower risk of heart disease.
That’s a huge deal and shows the importance of getting a consistent intake of these nutrients. Both EPA and DHA play an active role in heart health.
When it comes to how much EPA and DHA you need for heart health, this varies. To help lower risk of coronary heart disease in healthy adults, 500 milligrams (mg) has been found to be beneficial.
For prevention of coronary heart disease, though, you may want to consider a little more: 1,000 milligrams daily.
And a higher amount, upward of 1,000 mg daily, is connected with helping to lower blood pressure and benefitting triglyceride levels.
You can get EPA and DHA from food sources, as well as supplements. In just a second, I’ll go over some main sources now, plus heart-healthy Thanksgiving recipes to add to your holiday menu. These ideas are great for leftovers, too.
Heart-healthy recipes with fish
Oily fish such as salmon, arctic char, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies offer EPA and DHA—and a good amount, too. And you can easily add these to your heart-healthy recipes for dinner.
Aim for at least two 3.5-ounce servings of cooked fatty fish each week.
If you’re looking for a higher omega-3 intake for heart-health benefits, you may want to increase that weekly amount and consider taking a supplement, as well.
Now, go ahead and give these mouth-watering heart-healthy meal prep recipes a try:
Heart-healthy recipes with eggs
Some foods are fortified with omega-3s. Often, however, the amount found in the final product is on the lower side—which is why you shouldn’t rely on such foods to deliver all your omega-3 needs.
These foods can be fantastic inclusions in your diet to help you add a little more EPA and DHA to your day.
One food to consider: Certain eggs that offer EPA and DHA, thanks to special diets the chickens are fed. Sub in an omega-3-containing egg such as Eggland’s Best into an egg-containing recipe you love.
These appetizer, side dish, and dessert ideas are all delicious. They make the best heart-healthy dinner recipes!
Heart-healthy recipes with olive oil
This extra-virgin olive oil is blended with fish oil and provides an impressive 1,480 mg EPA and DHA per Tablespoon. You shouldn’t cook with it, though, so try it in a salad dressing or to drizzle on hummus.
Only a small amount of omega-3-containing olive oils can be use in cooking, and they typically offer fewer omega-3s for that reason.
You can substitute an omega-3-containing olive oil into any of these heart-healthy recipes that are easy:
When it comes to planning a menu full of heart-healthy Thanksgiving recipes, you can absolutely do so. Use this list of good-for-your-heart recipes, and have a happy holiday!
This content was originally part of a partnership with the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3 (GOED).
- A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials and Prospective Cohort Studies of Eicosapentaenoic and Docosahexaenoic Long-Chain Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Coronary Heart Disease Risk, Mayo Clinic Proceedings
- Jennifer Hunt, RD, at Jennifer Hunt Nutrition
- Liz Weiss, RD, co-author of No Whine with Dinner
- Lauren Harris-Pincus, RD, author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club
- Kelli Shallal, RD, author of Meal Prep for Weight Loss
- Jenna Braddock, RD, author of 200 Surefire Ways to Eat Well and Feel Better
- Megan Byrd, RD, blogger at The Oregon Dietitian
- All Recipes
- Judy Barbe, RD, author of Your 6-Week Guide to Live Best
- Stacey Mattinson, RD, at Stacey Mattinson Nutrition
- Elizabeth Ward, MS, RDN, author of Expect the Best
- Klara Knezevic, RDN, CLT, co-author of Cooking with Food Sensitivities Survival Guide
- Dara Gurau, RD
- Dixya Bhattari, RD, at Food, Pleasure & Health
- Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN, author of Vegetable Cookbook for Vegetarians
- Stacey Mattinson, MS, RDN, of Stacey Mattinson Nutrition
- Julie Andrews, MS, RDN, author of The Brain Health Cookbook
- Pamela Fergusson, PhD, RD, owner of Pamela Fergusson Nutrition
- Anne Mauney, MPH, RD, dietitian and blogger at fANNEtasticfood
- Monica Nedeff, RDN, blogger at The Traveling Dietitian
- Emily Cooper, RDN, blogger at Sinful Nutrition
What are your thoughts on this topic? Which of these heart-healthy Thanksgiving recipes will you try first?
- deviled egg
- everything bagel
- heart health
- salad dressing
- sesame seeds
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