Let’s decode the heart-healthy diet! Heart disease is the most common killer in the United States of America. Numbers say that someone succumbs to cardio-vascular disease every 37 seconds in the USA. Every 40 seconds, someone suffers a stroke, and someone dies of it every 3.59 minutes. Although these numbers are goosebumps-inducing, taking care of the heart is not that difficult.
Eating a healthy diet is one of the most effective ways to control the chances of heart disease. If you or your loved one is susceptible to or suffering from any heart disease, taking a look at how this heart-healthy diet can help you in several ways.
Here’s decoding the heart-healthy diet:
Keep portion size in check
More than what you eat, how much you eat is important. Not controlling portion size make you eat more calories than you should be eating.
Controlling portion size is no rocket science. All you need to do is use a smaller plate and bowl- simple!
Consume food that is low in calories and high in nutrients, like fresh fruits and vegetables. If you eat high-calorie and sodium-rich food like processed, refined, or junk food, eat in small amounts.
Consume more fruits and vegetables
Including fruits and vegetables in the diet is a sure-fire way of living a healthy and long life. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibers and low in calories.
Consume fresh or frozen fruits or vegetables, canned fruit packed in water or juice, and low-sodium canned vegetables. Limit your consumption of coconut, breaded or fried vegetables, vegetables with sauces, canned fruits with syrup.
You can make an array of recipes using fruits and vegetables that aren’t just healthy but also delicious.
Keep an eye on fat intake
Fats are associated with heart diseases. Keeping a check on trans and saturated fats is essential to cut down the risk of high cholesterol and to result in coronary heart diseases, heart attack, and stroke.
To cut down the intake of trans and saturated fat, consume lean meats and less butter. Go for low-fat options, like low-fat yogurt and low-sodium salsas. Replace margarine with a low-sugar spread or sliced fruit on your toast. Use olive oil for salad dressing.
Apart from butter, limit your consumption of cream sauce, bacon fat, lard, gravy, coconut, cottonseed, palm and palm kernel oil, and cocoa butter.
Use monounsaturated fats (canola oil or olive oil) and polyunsaturated fats (avocado, seeds, nuts, and certain fish).
Take whole grains
Whole-wheat flour, whole-wheat bread, whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta, high-fiber cereals, and whole grains, such as barley, buckwheat, and brown rice are good for heart health, whereas refined flour, white bread, frozen waffles, cakes, pies, muffins, egg noodles, cornbread, biscuits, doughnuts, and snack crackers are unhealthy.
Eat low-fat proteins
Keep your protein intake high with lean meat, fish, poultry, and low-fat dairy products. Switch high-fat meats with fish containing omega-3 fatty acids. Instead of whole milk, use skimmed milk. Eat a lot of legumes such as lentils, peas, and beans, and soybeans and soy products. Do not take organ meats like liver, marbled or fatty meats, spareribs, bacon, sausages, hot dogs, etc.,
Limit salt intake
High salt consumption and high blood pressure go hand in hand. Limiting your salt intake (sodium intake) is necessary to protect your heart against cardiovascular diseases.
Take only a teaspoon (2,300 mg) of salt a day. Do not eat processed or canned foods like baked goods, soups, and frozen meals as they are loaded with salt.
The bottom line
With the growing incidence of heart diseases, it is essential to safeguard our health, and what could be a better way than taking a healthy diet to prevent heart diseases? So, make sure you take a heart-healthy diet.
Furthermore, heart-healthy food doesn’t necessarily have to be bland. There are specific heart-healthy recipes for the elderly, picky eaters, and even for kids on the internet. You will surely get delicious recipes to try.