Heart disease is the foremost killer disease in the world today affecting men and women alike. A heart healthy diet, exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can go a long way towards improving your heart.
Being diagnosed with heart disease can impact your emotional health too affecting your outlook, mood and the quality of life. The good news is that you can take steps to protect your heart.
If you are looking to have a healthy cardiovascular health, it is important that you pay attention to the food you eat. Studies have shown that foods for the healthy heart can bring down your risk of heart ailments by almost 80%. When you consume foods that are good for your heart, you can prevent heart disease, lower cholesterol, and high blood pressure and have a greater control over your overall health and well-being. While choosing foods, keep in mind that it is best to include a wide variety of foods instead of obsessing over one or two kinds of foods.
Making some small changes to your everyday diet can do wonders for your heart health. Picking foods that take care of your heart can be simpler than you think, and taste good as well.
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Here are some healthy heart diet tips:
• Avoid saturated and trans fats – This is the most crucial change you can make in your diet. Both these kinds of diet increase your “bad cholesterol” level, which increases your risk of stroke and heart ailments. It also works to decrease your “good cholesterol” levels, which has an effect on your cardiovascular health. Limit your intake of food items such as packaged cookies, potato chips, margarine, butter and the like. Instead, opt for foods that contain unsaturated fats such as fats, fiber, and protein. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and seeds are all great cholesterol regulators.
• Stay away from processed foods and salt – Consuming a lot of sugar in your diet can lead to high blood pressure, which increases your risk of cardiovascular ailments. Experts recommend only one teaspoon of salt a day for an adult. Eating fresh, home-cooked foods is a good way to have more control over your sodium intake. While buying, packaged foods opt for low sodium, sodium free foods.
• Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables – Most vegetables and fruits are rich in fiber and low in calories, which makes them excellent foods for good heart health. Fiber plays a crucial role in a heart healthy diet. It helps to reduce both cholesterol and blood pressure and also makes you feel full, which in turn helps in weight loss.
• Watch your portion size – The amount of food you eat is as important as what you eat. Taking more on your plate till you are stuffed leads to consuming more calories than what you should. Control your portion sizes. Take larger portions of nutrient-rich and low-calorie foods and lesser portions of refined, processed and high-calorie foods.
• Eat whole grains – Whole grains contain fiber as well as other nutrients that are crucial for maintaining heart health. You can consider increasing the amount of whole grains in your diet.
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• Eat low-fat protein foods – Some good sources of protein include poultry and dairy products. Legumes are also rich in protein and comprise no cholesterol and less fat. This makes them a good substitute for meat. You can consider opting for plant protein instead of animal protein to help decrease your intake of cholesterol.
• Plan your daily menu – Once you know what foods to include and what to avoid in your heart healthy diet, it is time to put your plan into action. Make daily menus based on the above suggestions. While choosing foods, pick more fruits, whole grains, and vegetables. Opt for healthy fats and lean proteins and avoid salty foods. Keep a watch on how much you eat and include a variety of foods.
While eating foods for the healthy heart, it is okay to allow yourself some indulgence now and then. However, be careful not to derail from your heart healthy diet. What is necessary is that you take healthy foods most of the time.
A healthy, nutritious diet coupled with lifestyle changes can be your best weapon to fight cardiovascular ailments. Try incorporating the above-mentioned foods for the healthy heart in your daily life and you will find that it is both healthy and enjoyable.