Most of us know that eating certain foods is detrimental to our health and can increase the risk of a heart disease. Taking care of our heart health is an important task and the first step is to follow a heart-healthy diet. Many people don’t know how to start with this type of diet so we compiled a list of key things you need to keep in mind.
The size of your meal is equally important as what you eat. Eating until you feel full is not a good strategy, while portions served in restaurants are in most cases more than we need.
The first solution is to eat more low-calorie foods rich in nutrients such as fruits and vegetables. At the same time, limit the portion size of caloric food. By doing so, you will not only strengthen your heart but will also reduce your waistline.
Vegetables and fruits are good sources of minerals, vitamins, and fiber. They contain ingredients that can improve your heart health. Also, by eating fruits and vegetables you’ll cut back on processed high-caloric food, cheese, and snacks.
To make eating this healthy food convenient, always keep fruit on the table and vegetables cut and ready to eat in your fridge. Experts suggest eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables while avoiding vegetables with creamy sauces, fried vegetables, fruits packed in heavy syrup or frozen fruits with sugar.
To make your diet balanced, you need to include whole grains products in your diet. They regulate blood pressure and you can easily substitute refined grain products with whole-grain quinoa, farro or barley.
Also, you can use whole-wheat flour or buy whole-grain bread, brown rice or an oatmeal. At the same time, avoid white bread, white flour, biscuits, cakes, pies etc.
Coronary artery disease is caused by, among other things, saturated and trans fat. They increase your cholesterol level that can cause a heart attack and stroke.
When it comes to saturated fat, the American Heart Association recommended that this type of fat should not exceed 5 to 6 percent of total daily calories while you should totally avoid trans fat.
Instead, use monounsaturated fats such as olive oil or canola oil. In addition to this, it is safe to use polyunsaturated fats found in some fish, nuts, and seeds. But as a general rule, consume everything in moderation.
Another building block of a healthy diet is a protein and the best sources of it are lean meat, low-fat dairy products, fish, and eggs. At the same time, avoid full-fat milk, organ meats, hot dogs, bacon or fried meats.
One of my favorite sources of protein is a fish which is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. I usually buy salmon, mackerel, and herring.
Increased sodium intake can lead to a high blood pressure, and that is a big risk for cardiovascular disease. So, to reduce sodium is an important aspect of ensuring your heart health.
The first step is to reduce the amount of salt you add to food as you anyway get more salt than you need through processed food. Eating fresh food will normalize the amount of salt you eat.
If you can’t live without canned soups and prepared meals, at least try to find ones with reduced sodium.
Now that you are well informed on what ingredients to use in a heart-healthy diet, consider making seven daily menus so you never again have to think about what to cook. Combine fruits, whole grain, vegetables, lean protein, and limit the portion size. Be creative and make your meals delicious and interesting.
Finally, allow yourself an indulgence from time to time. A piece of chocolate or a tasty candy won’t ruin your diet or cause damage to your heart. Just make sure not to turn eating these products into a daily habit.
With solid planning and discipline, you can maintain your diet and ensure your heart remains strong for many years to come.
#heart #health #diet