Heart disease is one of the West’s biggest killers but there are simple steps you can take to minimize your risk. By making the decision to eat for a healthy heart, you can eliminate many of the causes of heart disease as well as other health conditions.
Bad cholesterol or a bad diet is something we all experience at some point in time. It’s impossible to eat healthy our whole lives, even though we may try hard to do it.
Eating healthy for your heart is something everyone should try to do, especially when it comes to restoring health and reducing heart attacks. There are three main health conditions that contribute to heart disease.
These are high blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol and being overweight. A diet high in sodium may elevate your blood pressure, leading to inflammation and even heart disease. Others include smoking and lack of exercise.
By adopting a healthy eating regime, you can reduce the effect of the three main factors.
Choosing Healthy Fats And Oils
The biggest dietary cause of high cholesterol is saturated fats. This is found in meat, milk, butter, cheese, eggs and many processed foods like coconut oil.
When shopping for food, make sure to check the levels of saturated fat and only choose foods with a low level. Unlike Saturated fat, monounsaturated fats such as olive oil will help you to protect your heart.
Olive oil is an ideal choice for cooking, dressing, or even as a dipping sauce.
Eat Plenty Of Fish
Another food product that helps reduce cholesterol is omega-3. Omega-3 is a fatty acid that is noted to have many health benefits besides helping to reduce cholesterol.
You can get good amounts of omega-3 from herring, sardines, salmon, walnuts and flaxseed. Other fish are great too, although Omega 3 may help to get your cholesterol down to a healthier level.
Plenty Of Fiber
To complete your battle with cholesterol, you need to make sure you eat plenty of fiber-rich foods. Fiber is thought to work by causing the excretion of some of the bile in the intestines.
The process used by the body to make up for the loss of bile effectively removes some of the cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Good sources of fiber include whole grains, including breads, cereals, pastas and rice, nuts and seeds, peas beans, lentils, fruits and vegetables, especially broccoli and carrots.
Eating for your heart involves staying away from sugary foods such as candy, cookies, cakes, and pastries. Eating a lot of sugar isn’t good for your heart disease at all.
Healthy carbohydrates involve whole grain breads, whole grain pasta, brown rice, and a lot of vegetables. You should make fruits and vegetables the main aspect of your diet.
Now let us have a look at blood pressure.
The main dietary cause of high blood pressure is salt. Most foods contain natural levels of salt and processed foods also often contain high levels of salt.
The simplest way to tackle high blood pressure is to stop adding salt when cooking or as a condiment to your meal. Also, try to eat plenty of potassium-rich foods.
Potassium can help to reverse the effects of the salt you eat and has a direct effect in lowering your blood pressure. Good sources of potassium include bananas, beans, potatoes, spinach and raisins.
Finally the thorny subject of your weight.
If you are overweight, you should try to stick to a diet that helps you to lose weight. Don’t aim to lose weight quickly, make it a medium-term goal. This is more likely to be successful and once your target weight is reached, you will be more likely to stay there.
The main healthy eating action to help with weight loss is to cut out sugar and foods containing excessive amounts of sugar. Eating sugar quickly raises the sugar levels in your blood.
To cope with this your body stores the excess energy from the sugar in your blood as fat cells. This then reduces the sudden surge in blood sugar levels back to a normal blood sugar level.
You don’t have to make a sudden change to healthy eating. Take your time. Try gradually including foods that help your body reduce the risk of heart disease.
Not forgetting to cut out those that are harmful to your health. By eating healthy food, you will not only be protecting your heart, you will enjoy better all-around health.
Healthy Cooking Methods
Stir frying and sauteing with olive oil or canola oil are both great methods, as you shouldn’t dip your food in batter and fry it anymore. If you cook chicken, remove the skin and bake it in the oven in foil.
Instead of frying your fish you should always bake it. Steaming your vegetables can help maintain the most nutrients. You should use cream sauces or lots of butter anymore either.
When you eat vegetables, try squeezing lemon juice on them or using your favorite seasonings. As you make the proper changes to your diet, keep in mind that it takes time for them to become habits.
Eating healthy is always great for your body and your lifestyle, especially when it comes to your heart and the prevention of heart disease.