Eating Healthy For your Heart
Heart disease is the major cause of death in the United States and many other countries of the world. It could be considered as a life-threatening lifestyle disease due to our high intake of trans-fats from foods like cakes, biscuits and chips, as well as saturated fats from meats and dairy products. Eating healthy for your heart can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Switching over to a healthy diet and leading an active lifestyle are the way to go. We give you some tips on eating healthy for your heart…
Eating Healthy For your Heart Tip No. 1: Limit Unhealthy Fats
Our diet usually consists of saturated fats from red meats and dairy products, increasing the bad cholesterol and making us prone to coronary diseases. The best way to reduce this risk is to reduce our intake of unhealthy fats like butter shortening and margarine added to the food. Also, ensure that you are eating lean meats without the fat and skin. Use mono-saturated fats like olive or canola oil for cooking.
Baked products like cookies and cakes or a bag of chips will usually contain trans-fats that are also bad for the heart. It’s much healthier to snack on a handful of nuts or use a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds and lime on your salads instead of mayonnaise. The American Heart Association recommends that trans-fats should form less than one percent while saturated fats should be less than 7 percent of your total calorie intake.
Eating Healthy For your Heart Tip No. 2: Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
Vegetables and fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals and are also a good source of fiber. Vegetables eaten in the form of salads (without high-fat dressing) are low in calories but high in fiber. Leafy vegetables like spinach are an excellent source of iron. Five servings of vegetables and fruit or more, each day are ideal for the body. You can easily snack on fruits like apples or bananas and include a vegetable dish with lunch or dinner.
Eating Healthy For your Heart Tip No. 3: Select low-fat protein sources
Meats are a rich source of proteins, but you must opt for lean meats so that your fat intake is reduced. Include low fat poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products in your meals. Opt for skim milk instead of whole milk and skinless chicken breast instead of fried chicken. The idea is to reduce fat as much as is possible. Including fish in your meals at least three times a week is good for the heart. Certain kinds of fish, namely salmon and tuna contain Omega-3 fatty acids that help to reduce blood fats. Plant sources of protein include lentils, beans, peas, canola oil, flaxseed, soybeans and walnuts. When you include these foods in your diet, you not only get the proteins but also other essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. And it’s quite easy to work these into your diet – just add a can of beans to soup or use canola oil for your cooking or sprinkle some powdered flaxseed on your low-fat yoghurt or your green salad.
Eating Healthy For your Heart Tip No.4: Eat whole grains
The best way to include whole grain in your diet is to switch over to whole grain bread and pasta, have brown or parboiled rice instead of white rice. Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber as well as vitamins and minerals that help to regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of coronary diseases.
Eating Healthy For your Heart Tip No.5: Use portion control plates
Although it is important to eat heart healthy foods, it is equally important that you take them in the right proportion. Heaping your plate with two helpings of each food item will finally lead to you towards the path of coronary problems. So make sure that you know how much of each food item you should eat, and if you are not too sure of the portions, use a portion control plate. That way you’ll never go wrong and it’s easy to get portion control plates from any crockery store or websites selling these items.
Eating Healthy For your Heart Tip No.6: Reduce salts and drink plenty of water
To maintain heart health, it is necessary to reduce the salt in your foods. Use products that are low in sodium or simply add a dash of lime juice to your salad instead of salt. Drinking plenty of water (more than eight glasses a day) not only keeps you hydrated but it also flushes out the toxic waste from the body.