Best Heart-Healthy Foods! Heart disease is the primary cause of death of both men and women and claims more lives. Being diagnosed with heart disease can also take an emotional charge, affecting your mood, outlook, and quality of life. While weight control and regular exercise are essential for keeping your heart in shape the food you eat can matter just as much. Several foods can also help keep your heart at its best. Moreover, by adopting healthy eating habits, you may also be able to lower cholesterol, avoid or control heart disease and high blood pressure, and take better control over the quality and length of your life. What’s good for your heart is good for you in general.
Whether you’re looking to improve your cardiovascular health, have already been detected with a heart disorder, or have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, these heart-healthy foods can help you better manage these disorders and lower your risk of a heart attack (read more about heart attack causes, symptoms, and prevention).
Here are some foods that are good for your heart:
Eat more fruits and vegetables
Several studies have shown that eating ample of plant foods is linked with a reduced risk of coronary disorders. This effect is mainly significant for green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, etc.), and those rich in vitamin C (green vegetables in general). Vegetables and fruits contain substances found in plants that help prevent cardiovascular disease. Moreover, eating more fruits and vegetables enables you to eat less high-fat foods, such as meat, cheese, and snack foods.
Focus on high-fiber food (read more about benefits of dietary fiber)
A diet rich in fiber can lower bad cholesterol and give nutrients that help protect against heart disease. Moreover, it may also help you to lose weight. As fiber remains in the stomach longer than other foods, the feeling of fullness will stay with you much longer, helping you eat less. Sources of fiber:
- Insoluble fiber is found in whole grains, wheat cereals, and vegetables such as carrots, celery, and tomatoes.
- Soluble fiber sources are barley, oatmeal, beans, nuts, and fruits such as apples, berries, citrus fruits, and pears.
Select low-fat protein foods
Lean meat, poultry and fish, low-fat dairy products, and eggs are some of the best sources of protein. But be careful to select lower fat options, such as skim milk instead of whole milk and skinless chicken breasts instead of fried chicken patties. Fish is another good substitute for high-fat meats. And particular kinds of fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, that can lower blood fats called triglycerides. Other sources of omega-3 fatty acids are flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans and canola oil. Moreover, legumes, beans, peas, and lentils also are good sources of protein and have less fat and no cholesterol, making them good alternatives for meat.
Limit unhealthy fats (read more about high-fat foods that are healthy for you)
To help look after your heart health, it is important to make sure you choose the right type of fats. Types of fats:
- Saturated fats: Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, that can increase the risk of developing coronary heart disease. Saturated fats are mainly found in tropical oils, dairy, and red meat.
- Unsaturated fats: Unsaturated fats, that can be monounsaturated fats (such as olive oil, rapeseed oil, almonds, unsalted cashews and avocado) or polyunsaturated fats (such as sunflower oil and vegetable oil, walnuts, sunflower seeds and oily fish) are a healthier choice.
- Trans fats: Another type of fat, known as trans fat, can also increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood. Trans fat is a synthetic version of oil. To create trans fat, hydrogen is added to vegetable oil, making it a solid at room temperature. The result is partially hydrogenated oil. This type of fat is found in foods such as commercially-baked goods, fried food, and anything with “partially hydrogenated” oil in the ingredients, even if it states to be “trans fat-free.”
Restricting how much saturated and trans fats you consume is a significant step to reduce your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of coronary artery disease. A high blood cholesterol level can cause a buildup of plaques in your arteries, called atherosclerosis, that can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Reduce the salt in your food
Eating a lot of salt can cause high blood pressure (read more about ways to prevent high blood pressure), that is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Reducing salt is an important part of a heart-healthy diet. The recommended intake of sodium per day for healthy adults is no more than 2,300 milligrams (about a teaspoon of salt), and for people of age 51 or older, and people who have been detected with high blood pressure, diabetes or long-lasting kidney disease should eat no more than 1,500 mg (3/4th teaspoon) of sodium per day.
Eat well and live long!
Disclaimer: All material on Hidoc.co is provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute for professional medical or health advice. Always seek the advice of your physician for any questions regarding your symptoms or medical condition and before taking any home remedies or supplements.