What is a Heart-Healthy diet?

On 10 September 2020 by Droobi

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Heart healthy diet or else known as a “Cardiac diet”, is a diet plan that focuses on eating plenty of nutrient rich foods. Following a heart healthy diet is usually recommended for people who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or any other history of heart disease, or chronic condition such as diabetes and obesity. But even if you do not have any of these health concerns, sticking to a heart healthy diet is important, since it can reduce risk of heart disease in the future. 

 

Today, we will take you through some heart-healthy diet steps and tips, to know which foods to eat more of and which foods to limit.


1-Control your portion size
How much you eat is just as important as what you eat. Make sure to eat -in moderation- portions of low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and smaller portions of high-calorie, high-sodium foods, such as refined, processed, and fast foods. This strategy can shape up your diet as well as your heart health. 
  Tip: Use a small plate or bowl to help control your portions.


2-Eat more vegetables and fruits 
Eating more fruits and vegetables may help you cut back on higher calorie foods, such as meat, cheese, and snack foods. Since they are rich in dietary fibers, low in calories and a good source of vitamins and minerals. 
  Tip: Aim for fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid canned fruit packed in heavy syrup or vegetables with creamy sauces. 

3-Select whole grains
Whole grains are good sources of fiber and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. Try to increase the amount of whole grains in a heart-healthy diet by making simple substitutions for refined grain products. 
  Tip: Choose whole grains such as brown rice barley, oatmeal, and whole grain bread or pasta and avoid white refined flour.

 

4-Limit unhealthy fats
Limiting how much saturated and trans fats you eat is an important step to reduce your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of heart diseases. You can reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet by trimming fat off your meat or choosing lean meats with less than 10% fat. 
  Tip: Fat to limit: Butter, lard, gravy, and cream sauce


5-Choose low-fat protein sources
The best sources of protein are, poultry and fish, low-fat dairy products, eggs, and legumes. You can also find the highest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in cold-water fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and herring. Other sources are flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans, and canola oil. 
 Tip:  Choose lower fat protein options, such as skim milk rather than whole milk and skinless grilled chicken rather than fried skinned chicken. 


6-Reduce the sodium in your food
Eating a lot of sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends that:

  • Healthy adults have no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day 

  • Most adults ideally have no more than 1,500 mg of sodium a day

 Tip: Try to reduce your intake of Condiments such as ketchup, mayonnaise, and soy sauce, as they contain high amount of sodium

By incorporating these six steps and tips into your life, you will find that heart-healthy eating is both doable and enjoyable. With planning and a few simple substitutions, you can eat with your heart in mind. Start Today and make a change ! 
 

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