Diet for Heart Health
Diet for Heart Health
A healthy diet and lifestyle are the two main keys to heart health. Managing and preventing heart disease is not as hard as most of us think. It’s a matter of making choices that count!
Have a diet that emphasizes:
- A wide variety of fruits and vegetables
- Healthy protein sources that are composed of fish and seafood, nuts and legumes, lean and unprocessed poultry, and low-fat or nonfat dairy
- Minimally processed foods
- Non-tropical vegetable oils
- Foods prepared with little to no salt
- A minimal amount of added sugar
- Little to no salt
- Limited to no alcohol intake
Limit intake of the following:
- Saturated and trans fats
- Sweets, including sweet beverages
- Red meat (be sure to get the leanest cuts available)
It is possible to observe an overall heart-healthy diet wherever you are. When preparing food at home, try recipes that are heart-healthy. When eating out, choose healthy options. When shopping for food, over the ingredient list and Nutrition Facts on packaged food labels, and be sure to go for those that have less added sugars, sodium, and saturated fat. Consuming foods that are high in salt or sodium can elevate blood pressure levels. Foods that are high in trans or saturated fat can raise your cholesterol.
Controlling your portion size
How much you consume is just as essential as what you consume. Putting too much on your plate, not taking your time, and eating until you feel full can all lead to eating more than you should.
Keeping in mind some simple tips to control your portion size can do wonders for your heart, as well as your waistline:
- Consume more nutrient-rich, low-calorie foods like fruits and vegetables
- Consume fewer foods that are high in sodium and calories like processed, refined, and fast foods
- Use a small bowl or plate to help you control your portions
Making daily menus while keeping in mind the tips listed above can surely help. When choosing foods for each snack and meal, emphasize whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Go for lean protein sources, limit salty foods, and choose healthy fats. Add variety to your menu choices to make your food more interesting and watch your portion sizes.
Incorporate these heart-healthy tips into your life, and you’ll find that eating healthy is both enjoyable and doable. With a few simple substitutions and some planning, you can eat with your heart health in mind!
“Preventing Heart Disease,” Harvard School of Public Health, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/disease-prevention/cardiovascular-disease/preventing-cvd/
“Understanding Ingredients on Food Labels,” American Heart Association, https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/understanding-ingredients-on-food-labels
“8 top tips for portion control,” British Heart Foundation, https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/nutrition/weight/perfect-portions/top-tips-for-portion-control