Your heart is vital to your overall health. It is the center of the cardiovascular system, after all, making it one of the most important organs in our body. So, how do you take care of this essential organ? You don’t need to be a cardiology expert to help people like you in Payson, Utah; you can start with your diet.
Your food choices not only affect your weight but also your internal organs, including the heart. Eating healthy keeps your heart healthy, too. It lowers the risk of developing heart diseases and suffering from a stroke. How do you do it?
Healthy Choices: What You Should Have
Eat healthy fats – Not all fats are bad for you. Monounsaturated fats like olive oil, avocado oil, and canola oil are great choices. Other healthy fats include polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Seeds and nuts contain polyunsaturated fats, while fish like salmon and tuna have Omega-3 fatty acids. Those classified as unhealthy fats include trans fats which are present in crackers and ‘snack cakes’. You must also avoid food with labels like ‘partially hydrogenated’.
- Choose whole-grains – Whole-grains can be found in bread and pasta. These contain high amounts of complex carbohydrates and fiber. You should choose these over white bread and ‘regular pasta’.
- Eat your vegetables and fruits – Both contain fiber, minerals, and vitamins that help the body function usually. They’re also easy to eat, as they give a nice flavor to any dish. You can also eat beans, lentils, and peas for a healthy heart.
- Eat a good amount of meat – Meat is good for your body when it’s baked, broiled or roasted. You can slice off excess fats from the meat before you cook it. You can also stir-fry lean cuts of meat for variety.
- Consume low-fat dairy – Fat-free versions of milk and yogurt are good for the heart. Cheese products, as long as they’re fat-free, are also good for the heart. You can also eat eggs, but limit your consumption to four times a week. Also, it’s much better if you eat the egg whites more.
Unhealthy Choices: What You Should Avoid
There are some food products you need to avoid to keep your heart healthy. Some of these contain too much sodium, while others have a lot of fats which can damage the heart. Limit your diet to food items that have spices and seasonings with less to no salt at all.
- Saturated and trans fats – Fatty meats, the skin of poultry, butter, whole-milk dairy, coconut and palm oil, and lard all have saturated fats. On the other hand, desserts, popcorn, coffee creamers, stick margarine, and frozen pizza contain trans fats. You can find proof at the label of these products which have the words “partially hydrogenated oil.”
- Added sugars – These are present in sweetened snacks, sodas, and sweet drinks. Examples of these are sweetened tea and coffee, energy drinks, pies, cakes, ice cream, syrups, jellies, and candies. Don’t consume too much of these.
Maintaining a healthy heart starts with a good diet regimen. While there are some food and beverages you need to limit or avoid, there is still a lot you can enjoy.