Your dietary choices significantly impact your life, particularly maintaining a healthy heart. Most heart conditions diagnosed in people stem from people's food choices combined with sedentary lifestyles. Here are some tips to make sure you are eating a heart-healthy diet.
Regulate Your Portion Size
Overeating not only makes you lethargic but poses significant risks to your heart. This is the fastest way to add excess calories to your body. Therefore, you need to constantly monitor the amount of food you eat per serving by observing the following:
Eat using small plates or bowls to help regulate your food portions
Incorporate more low-calorie nutrients into your diet
Reduce your intake of high-calorie foods, including refined and processed fast foods
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Vegetables have low-calorie content and are rich in fiber, making them an effective dietary choice for maintaining a healthy heart. Moreover, they are also a rich source of vitamins and minerals.
There are several varieties of vegetables, each requiring a unique way of consumption. While some are eaten raw, you have to cook others to make them edible. These vegetables and fruits have different nutritional appeals. Therefore, you must have a vast choice to enable you to get as many nutrients as possible when buying fruits and vegetables.
Apart from protecting you against heart diseases, fruits and vegetables also prevent other conditions, including cancer and diabetes. Eating vegetables and fruits motivates you to reduce your high-calorie foods.
Choose Whole Grains
Unprocessed grains are one of the best sources of carbs compared to consuming refined grains. They are also rich in fiber and other nutrients essential for regulating blood pressure and maintaining a healthy heart.
Some whole grains you should select and incorporate into your diet include whole wheat flour, whole wheat bread, brown rice, barley, whole grain pasta, and steel-cut or regular oatmeal.
On the other hand, these are the refined grain products you should avoid; white refined flour, white bread, frozen waffles, cornbread, doughnuts, biscuits, quick breads, and cakes, among others.
Avoid Harmful Fats
Unhealthy fats cause deposits in the arteries predisposing you to atherosclerosis. Consequently, you are at risk of suffering from high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. If you want to ensure your diets are free from unhealthy fats, utilize the following simple ways:
Cut the fat off your meat or choose lean meat with low-fat content
Restrict the amount of butter, margarine, and shortening when cooking. If possible, often use healthy fats such as olive and coconut oils which are less saturated and unrefined
Fruits such as avocado are rich in healthy oils and are suitable substitutions for such fats as margarine used as a spread. When buying products, check the labels for any trans fats. Though the sale of trans fat foods is illegal currently, there may be older products rich in these unhealthy fats. Other healthy fats you could incorporate into your diets include canola oil, vegetable oil, nuts, and seeds.
Choose Low-Fat Proteins
Plant proteins are often the best source of nutrients in your foods. Animals with white meat are also low-fat protein sources and include chicken and fish.
For lovers of dairy products, some low-fat products you could incorporate into your meals include low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese.
Regulate Your Salt
High salt intake predisposes you to such heart health risks as enlarged heart muscle, heart failure, high blood pressure, and stroke. These effects may also extend and result in other conditions, including stomach cancer, kidney disease, kidney stones, and osteoporosis.
Apart from limiting the amount of salt you add to your cooked foods, watch out for refined and canned foods with high sodium content, which may predispose you to these conditions.
We care about your health which is why we provide you with some of the best tips aimed at fine-tuning your meals to ensure you have a healthy heart. Contact us to learn more or schedule an appointment.