6 Dietary Changes to Have a Healthy Heart
If you are concerned about your heart health, you may want to reconsider your food choices.
By making proper food choices, you can keep your arteries healthy and strong, safeguard your heart from damage and have lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Improvements in other aspects of your health, such as lowering your risk for diabetes and stroke, may also result from dietary modifications.
You should pick a diet that's easy to stick to, and that emphasizes nutrition instead of calorie-counting or portion control. Another way to go about crafting a heart-healthy eating routine is by looking for certain food groups.
Ultimately, a healthy diet should include meals and snacks that are nutrient-dense and low in sugar and saturated fats.
How you can make dietary changes to promote healthy heart
1) Consuming a high fiber diet
Dietary fiber not only helps to maintain regularity but it also helps to lower cholesterol levels by assisting in the removal of cholesterol from the body through feces. This lowers the amount of "bad" LDL cholesterol in the blood, lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Whole grains, beans, legumes, fruits, and vegetables are high in fiber.
2) Incorporating more fruits and vegetables
A healthy heart requires a diet rich in vegetables and fruits. Vegetables like broccoli, kale, and spinach should be part of a heart-healthy diet.
They contain carotenoids and antioxidants that help the body clear itself of potentially dangerous chemicals. It is critical to base your diet on these foods.
Consider keeping some pre-washed fresh vegetables and a bowl of fresh fruit in your fridge for when you need a fast snack in between meals.
3) More of omega-3 fatty acids (often known as "good fats")
Not all fats are created equal. Fat is a great source of energy to carry you through the day.
Omega-3 fatty acids, which may be found in fatty fish like salmon or trout, are a major source of healthy fats.
Consumption of good fats is necessary for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Saturated and trans-fatty acids, sometimes known as trans fats, raise cholesterol levels in the body. This is why foods high in animal fat, such as cream, cheese, and butter should be consumed in moderation.
4) Opt for lean protein
Instead of fried chicken patties, use lean meats like turkey, chicken, fish, and skinless chicken breasts.
Other heart-healthy substitutions include skimmed milk instead of whole milk and turkey or soy burgers instead of red meat.
Instead of bacon, consider putting an egg on top of your burger.
Plant-based meals like beans, legumes, and lentils are all high in protein, as are some nuts.
According to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, people who eat nuts, mainly almonds and walnuts, have a 15 percent to 20 percent decreased chance of getting heart disease.
5) Limit your sodium consumption
Limiting the amount of table salt you use in your meals is a good way to maintain a healthy heart. However, the majority of sodium you eat comes from your food.
The salt content of canned veggies and soups is often half of what you should consume in a day. Look for low-sodium canned goods and items that don't have salt added to them.
6) Limit your alcohol intake.
Don't start drinking alcohol if you haven't already. Choose a "go-to" mocktail instead of alcoholic beverages.
Alcohol has a negative impact on the heart. It's linked to high blood pressure, artery widening, heart failure, excessive cholesterol levels in the blood, and atherosclerosis.
Other ways to improve your heart health
Besides eating a heart-healthy diet and avoiding foods that harm cardiovascular health, there are many other easy lifestyle changes you can practice for better heart health. Some of them are:
- Avoid dining out as much as you can.
- Plan your meals in advance.
- Desserts should be saved for special occasions.
- Regular exercise is essential.
- Include more fresh fruit, vegetables, and fiber-rich foods (such as beans and nuts)
- Getting enough sleep.
Heart health should be considered in the same way as getting a physical during your annual checkup.
Some of the listed tips above might seem difficult, but don't let that discourage you from making them a part of your life.
Each step that is added to your routine will bring you closer to improved heart health and leave you feeling better on the inside.