When I think of my favorite home cooked Pilipino dishes they all have two things in common. One, they make my mouth happy. Two, they are all some devilish combination of fatty, greasy, meaty, salty, or fried. Let’s face it, the very things that make most Pilipino food so deliciously decadent are also the things that are clogging up your arteries. The preference for a savory Pilipino palette has had a profound effect on the health of Pilipino Americans. According to the statistics presented by Dr. Charito Sico:
“1 in 4 Pilipino Americans have hypertension, 1 in 4 have high cholesterol, and 1 out of 5 Asian Americans with diabetes are Pilipino American.”
Like most Fil-Ams, I believe that savoring an exquisite meal is a cherishable human experience that should be an unalienable right. Since food, quite literally, gives me a reason for a living, I like my meals to meet a certain par of deliciousness and often make unwise choices in which I follow my stomach instead of my heart.
Luckily, the American Heart Association and Kaiser Permanente collaborated to put together a healthy recipe booklet filled with dishes that keep the same Pilipino flavors we love but go easier on our bodies.
You can find a PDF of Mula Sa Puso: Heart Healthy Traditional Filipino Recipes for free online by clicking on the hyperlink. Below are a few examples from the booklet of Pilipino favorites that have been altered to keep your heart pumping strong.