It can be tough learning how to follow a heart healthy diet, but a healthy for you heart diet can help you live a longer, healthier life by reducing the risks of heart disease. Changing eating habits or just refining them a touch is no easy matter, especially if you have been indulging in unhealthy eating habits for years.
Here are some tips that can help eat more of the foods that are good for you, and limit the consumption of those that are not so that you can create a heart healthy diet that is right for you.
Controlling portion size is often one of the more difficult aspects of eating heart healthy diets because people love the taste of food. However, if you overload your plate, go back for seconds, or eat until you can no longer shovel in more food; the result is that your body stores fat and cholesterol in all those places you don’t want them. Instead of choosing foods that are high in calories, fat, sodium and refined processed ingredients, opt for those that are low in calories and high in nutrients like fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Your heart will love you for it and so will your palette.
A healthy heart diet should also include whole grains which are great sources for natural nutrients and fiber that help regulate blood pressure which is another factor in a healthy heart. Rather than selecting refined grain products, consider adding some barley, quinoa or couscous to your heart diet. Along with that add ground flax seed where you can because they contain omega-3 fatty acids to help lower total blood cholesterol. Just stir them into hot cereal, applesauce, or yogurt and you have done something positive for your heart diet.
The American Heart Association recommends that we all limit the amount of saturated fat we consume in our diets to less than 7% of our daily calories. Trans fats should be kept to under 1% of total daily calories, and cholesterol should be limited to no more than 300 mg for healthy individuals and 200mg for anyone experiencing high LDL levels. High LDL levels have been seen to contribute to atherosclerosis which is the buildup of plaque in the arteries. This buildup increases the risk of stroke and heart attack. A healthy heart and diet are critical for maintaining overall good health.
Protein is an essential ingredient in healthy heart diets, but it is important that the protein is low in fat. A high fat diet and heart disease just go hand in hand. Low-fat protein options include fish and poultry, lean meats, egg substitutes or egg whites, and low-fat dairy. Raw nuts and legumes such as peas, beans and lentils are great substitutes for the protein in animal products because they are even lower in fat and cholesterol while providing the energy needed to support functions of the body.
Sodium is a contributing factor in high blood pressure which increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Heart healthy diets should also include reducing the amount of sodium in the foods you eat. A healthy heart diet for healthy adults should include less than 2,300 mg of sodium daily. For those individuals at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, such as individuals older than 51, African-Americans, and anyone that has been diagnosed with diabetes, kidney disease, and high blood pressure should limit their sodium intake to no more than 1,500 mg of sodium daily.
Even though it is a good initial step to reduce the salt added to food during cooking or at the table, it is also good to refrain from eating canned and processed foods because they are loaded with sodium. Heart healthy diets include fresh made foods like soups and stews, fresh vegetables and fruits, salt substitutes and reduced sodium versions of condiments.
Some information above is a mainstream health care advice on healthy heart diet, you can probably find easily on-line in pretty much similar interpretations. Yet it worth to hear what a famous
heart surgeon says about what really causes heart disease and thus prevent it and live longer life.
Many people feel that eating a handful of potato chips, or indulging in a small candy bar now and than will cause any attempt at eating a heart healthy diet to fail. While it is not good practice to eat these foods daily, a treat now and then certainly will not disrupt the many benefits of a consistent healthy diet if you eat a heart healthy diet the majority of the time.
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Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the nation. There is much that we can do to prevent heart disease in the future. This report is a good place to start with. It's full of great tips on how to maintain heart health for whole family. It covers advice for Men, Women, Kids, Elderly and Athletes. It has Tips on Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep and Health Checks. You will find a lot of common sense and practical advice on how to improve your heart health. Grab your free copy now!