a healthy diet is the best way to fight heart disease
A healthy diet is the best way to fight heart disease
A healthy diet and lifestyle are the best way to fight heart disease. It’s not as hard as you may think and it doesn’t have to start with the word “no”, as in no fat, no salt or no fun. A diet that is good for your heart can include chocolate and cookies. If you have years of unhealthy eating under your belt, here are 7 heart-smart strategies to get you started.
1. Practice moderation and balance
Eating a variety of foods from all of the food groups helps to assure that we are getting vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients that are needed for a healthy heart. But need to know how much food to consume, don’t overloading your plate and eating until you are stuffed can lead to excess calories, fat and cholesterol intake.
Must keep track of the number of servings you eat and use proper serving sizes to help control how much food you eat. The most important is that you eat healthy foods most of the time.
2. Limit unhealthy fats and cholesterol
Diet low in saturated and trans fatty acids and cholesterol reduce the risk of heart disease. A high blood cholesterol level can lead to a buildup of plaque in your arteries, which can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. It is important to be concerned about the types of fat and the amount we are eating than being concerned about dietary cholesterol only.
Saturated fat is found primarily in animal fats (the skin on poultry, the fat on red meat and foods high in fat, like luncheon meats and sausage), dairy products with fat (cheese and milk) and fats that are solid at room temperature such as butter, solid shortening and lard. Saturated fat intake is the greatest contributor to body levels of cholesterol. The more saturated fat we eat, the higher our cholesterol levels.
3. Consume a diet rich in vegetables and fruits
Most vegetables and fruits are rich in nutrients, low in calories and high in fiber. A diet high in soluble fiber, the find found in fruits and vegetables can help lower blood cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease. Eat more fruits and vegetables and in doing so satisfying your hunger may help you eat less high fat foods. It is recommended to have at least 5 serving per day of fruits and vegetables.
4. Select whole grain or complex carbohydrate
The fiber found in unrefined whole-grain food such as oats, brown rice, whole meal bread, bran, chapatti, corn, barley and whole grain breakfast cereal, can help lower your blood cholesterol, which is important in preventing heart disease and stroke.
5. Consume fish
Fish, especially oily fish (for example, salmon, cod, tuna and herring) is rich in long chain omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, EPA and DHA. The consumption of 2 servings per week of fish high in EPA and DHA will reduce risk of heart disease. Regular fish consumption may facilitate the displacement of other food higher in saturated and trans fatty acids from the diet.
6. Less salt
Salt intake is directly associated with blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. High salt foods like salty snacks and sauce.
7. If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation.
If alcoholic beverages are consumed, they should be limited to no more than 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women and ideally should be consumed with meals.