Usually when people are stressed or are feeling down for any reason, they are more tempted towards eating unhealthy snacks and food items. When we are hungry, many of us don’t think much and just grab whatever we can find at home to eat. This is wrong, the most crucial aspect that you must consider when making choice for your food is to think of your heart health especially those who are suffering from heart diseases or high cholesterol problems. In order to maintain a good healthy heart, it is important to consider controlling your weight, exercising regularly and to keep a close watch on whatever you eat. Your healthy diet and lifestyle can prove to be a fighter for all your heart related problems and can even give you extended life length that you will lead with good health.
Healthy Heart Diet Guidelines:
So for all those who are concerned about their heart and related issues, read and follow the guidelines that we are sharing here.
Keep a Close Watch on your Weight!
If you truly wish to improve your health and especially your heart health, you should have a close look at your weight. This doesn’t mean that you need to starve yourself and go on a tight diet but instead you need to see and manage the amount of calories that you are taking each day. Your calorie count should be considered according to your size and age. Apart from calorie count, divide your meals in to reasonable portions. Avoid overeating.
Include Exercises and Physical Activities!
Sitting in front of TV or your computer all day long isn’t a healthy lifestyle. In order to remain healthy, you must have some physical activity or light exercises in your daily life. Depending upon your physical condition, it is best if you can give up to 30 minutes for exercising daily. However if you cannot do so, you can break up these 30 minutes in to small intervals of few minutes of exercising throughout the day. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t do 30 minutes, it is better to do something than to completely avoid exercising.
Consume More of Veggies and Fruits!
There will be less risk of heart diseases for people who have a good intake of fruits and vegetables. They are best to be used in their raw form and fresh. Focus on getting a mix of different varieties of fruits and veggies. Deep colored items are richer in nutrition as compared to light colored ones. You should be able to make smart choices when selecting your ingredients for meals. Apart from fruits and veggies, prefer fiber, unsaturated fats and more of protein. For lowering cholesterol and other heart problems, consume oatmeal, olive oil, nuts and fish.
Fiber Improves Heart Health!
Fiber is linked with improving your heart health whether it’s soluble or insoluble. Fiber is something that goes undigested through your body and thus you feel fuller for a longer time period with a low calorie count for your body.
- Insoluble fibers: Items such as wheat cereals, carrots, tomatoes, whole grains etc.
- Soluble fibers: Items such as nuts, citrus fruits, apples, beans, barley, oatmeal etc.
A good mix of these items would work towards making your heart healthier and would also be beneficial for lowering your blood pressure level. These food items would prove good for weight loss as after consuming them you will feel full for longer time period.
Limit your Sugar Intake!
Excessive intake of sugar can be harmful for your heart health and may cause varied other health related diseases and issues. It is best to monitor your intake of sugar and cut-back wherever possible. Look for alternatives of sugar rich products and try to replace them. Cutting sugar off completely may be tough and so you should go slowly for a gradual decrease in sugar intake. With time your taste bud will get use to of little sweetness only. When you consume products that are pre-packaged and prepared, make sure you keep a watch on its labels. It may even have some hidden sugar ingredients so it is best to prepare good at home where you know what you are putting in and in what quantities. Cut on frequency of eating out as there you will be served many things packed with excess of sugar. Make better choices like replace cakes and chocolates with natural sweetness of fruits, natural peanut butter and other similar things. Sodas are enemies for your heart health with the artificial sweetness and other ingredients. Prefer water or fresh fruit juice over sodas even diet ones.
Limit your Salt Intake!
Similar to sugar, excessive salt can be really dangerous and gives you enhanced risk of heart diseases. Salt or sodium intake excessively can cause high blood pressure which gives you great risk of suffering from heart diseases. Surely salty food will be tempting and delicious but you should reduce your intake of salt in order to stay healthy. Food items that are pre-processed and packed are termed to have more salt. This would include frozen meat, soups, stews etc. It is best to prepare food on your own using fresh ingredients only. Another idea that would decrease your salt intake is to limit use of salt and use other spices to get more flavor in your meals. Such spices can be cumin, all spice powder or some herbs like chives, thyme etc. Choose your meals and its ingredients carefully and you will be able to cut down a good quantity of your salt intake.
Limit Saturated and Trans Fats Instead opt for Good Fats!
Not all types of fats are bad, there are some good ones too. So avoid all saturated and trans fats that gives you bad cholesterol and increases the risk of heart stroke. Cardiovascular risks increases with consumption of these bad fats. Replace them with things that have good fats.
- Saturated or Trans Fats: Items such as potato chips, cookies, shortening of fats, butter etc.
- Good Fats: Omega Fatty Acids & Monounsaturated Fats including items such as fish, canola oil, vegetable oils, soy nuts, walnut, trout, peanuts, cashews, avocadoes, almonds etc.
Following the guidelines that we have shared here and by keeping a close eye on what you are eating (with ingredients of your meals) you will be able to reduce the risk of heart diseases and problems. Not only you need to maintain a healthy diet but also work hard to maintain proper weight according to your size and age. Include light physical activities in your routine and maintain a healthy lifestyle.