Heart Healthy Diet
October 9, 2020
Heart Healthy Diet
The food you eat decides your health. A general balanced diet is good for your overall health, but there are certain foods that are specifically suited for certain organs and some that are harmful. A heart healthy diet is designed to keep your heart healthy and in good working order.
First limit portion size
The first thing to remember is that how much you eat is as important as what you eat. Limiting the portion size is the first step towards getting your heart healthy. Reducing the portion size or number of servings may seem hard, so you can make this easier by switching to a smaller plate or bowl. Smaller portions will fill up your plate and will give you psychological satisfaction.
The heart friendly diet
Fruits and vegetables
Packed with vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables are a must with every meal. Plant and plant-based foods also help in reducing your risk of health disease. They are high in fiber and fill your stomach up leaving little room for high calorie foods such as meat, carbohydrates and snacks.
Whole grains are high in fiber and nutrients that help regulate blood pressure and improve heart health. Increase your intake of whole grain by including whole wheat flour, brown rice, oatmeal etc.
Include good fat and avoid the bad fat
All fat is not bad for you. You need a certain amount of fat in your diet to keep you functioning at peak efficiency. Just choose monounsaturated fats such as olive oil and other vegetable oils. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats may lower total blood cholesterol while saturated fats will end up clogging your blood vessels leading to cardiovascular diseases.
Low-fat protein keeps your heart healthy
Fish, poultry, lean meat and low fat dairy should be a part of your diet. Legumes such as beans, peas and lentils are also good sources of protein. Alternate animal protein with plant protein to reduce fat and cholesterol content.
Reduce sodium intake
Sodium plays a big role in increasing your blood pressure. High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease. Give up canned and packaged foods and condiments. Eat moderately salted home cooked meals.
Follow these simple rules. It may be difficult to make drastic changes, so it is better to make the shift gradual. Make small changes and increase them in small increments. Give yourself treats now and then to keep your spirits up, but remember to keep your treats LITTLE.