Heart disease is a leading killer of men and women in The United States. If you are worried about heart disease, the most important thing you can do is make sure that you have a healthy diet. By changing your diet, you can help stop or even reverse heart disease. At first, it may seem like there is a lot to learn, but you do not have to make every change at once. You can take small steps first such as incorporating a healthy diet. If you want to learn more about what a healthy diet looks like, keep reading.
Control Your Portion Sizes
Controlling how much you eat is just as important as controlling what you eat. Filling your plate with a ton of food, going back for seconds and eating until you cannot eat anymore can lead you to eat more calories than you should. A few things you can try incorporating into your daily life include using a smaller plate to control your portion sizes, eating more low-calorie and nutrient-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables and eating small amounts of high-calorie and high-sodium foods such as refined, processed or fast food. Also, keeping track of the number of servings you eat can also help you along the way.
Eat More Vegetables and Fruits
Vegetables and fruits are an effective way to get in the vitamins and minerals your body needs while also being low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. They contain substances that can help prevent cardiovascular diseases. By eating more fruits and vegetables, it can help you cut back on high-calorie food such as meat, cheese and snacks. Incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet can be easy if you keep them washed and cut in your fridge so they are ready to eat for a quick snack. Also, choose recipes that have more vegetables in them such as vegetable stir fry or try a salad with mixed fruit in it.
Choose Whole Grains
Whole grains provide you with a good source of fiber and other nutrients that you need to regulate your blood pressure and have a healthy heart. You can incorporate whole grains into your diet by making or eating them instead of refined grains. Good whole grains include whole-grain bread, high fiber cereal, oatmeal, whole-grain pasta and whole-wheat flour. Foods that you should stay away from as they do not have whole grains include white flour and bread, muffins, frozen waffles, doughnuts, cakes and egg noodles.
Limit Unhealthy Fats
Unhealthy fats can lead to high cholesterol which can lead to buildup in your arteries and an increase in your risk of a heart attack. By limiting unhealthy fats such as butter, cream sauce, gravy and bacon fat, you will decrease your risk of a heart attack later in life. When you do use fats, use monosaturated fats such as olive oil or canola oil. Polyunsaturated fats which can be found in fish, avocados and nuts are also good heart-healthy choices.
Reduce Sodium in Your Food
Eating too much salt or sodium can lead to high blood pressure which is a risk factor for heart disease. Limiting your sodium intake is an important part of living a heart-healthy lifestyle. Although reducing the amount of salt you add to food while you are cooking or eating is a great first step, most of the sodium you eat comes from canned or processed foods such as soups, baked goods and frozen dinners. Try eating more fresh foods and making your own soups – this can significantly decrease the amount of salt that you consume. If you like the simplicity of canned soups or frozen dinners, try reaching for the ones that have reduced sodium or no sodium added.
By making these small changes in your diet, you can be on track to living a more heart-healthy lifestyle. This is a great first step to decrease your chances of getting heart disease. Take the step today so you can live the life that you want. Get a cardiology exam to make sure your heart is healthy by contacting us today!