Cardiologists recommend certain dietary solutions in order to decrease risk for heart disease. These changes might be difficult to integrate into your habits at first, but will serve your health well if you can commit to them. You can maximize heart health by focusing on some of these healthier choices in your diet.
Add Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are an amazing source of vitamins and minerals. Your favorite fruit or vegetable is probably high in fiber with low caloric value, which makes it a great snack. In fact, increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables might make you less inclined to choose unhealthy snacks. Wash and cut vegetables right away, and keep them on hand in the refrigerator as a great grab-and-go snack. Put fruit in an eye-catching place so you are more likely to grab it in a rush.
Reduce Sodium Intake
Increased salt consumption can cause high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease. Cardiologists are not as concerned about salt shakers at the dinner table. The salt that poses a risk to heart health actually comes from processed foods. Prepackaged dinners, baked goods, and canned soups are just a few of the many well-loved items that are absolutely packed with sodium. Cooking at home can help reduce the amount of sodium in your diet.
Know Your Fats
A heart healthy diet includes very limited saturated and trans fats. This can also help lower cholesterol. Get to know the labels of food you buy at the grocery store and learn to identify these fats. Prioritize healthy fats, like nuts, avocados, and olive oil, over unhealthy fats, like margarine, fried foods, and packaged snack foods.
Focus On Whole Grains
Refined grains are a great threat to heart health. Whole grains are a great fiber source that can help with blood pressure and heart disease. Quinoa and barley are whole grains that can be integrated into tons of delicious meals. Switch out refined pastas, breads, and cereals for ones that feature whole grain instead.
Everything in Moderation
You have heard this over and over again, but its significance remains steadfast. Introducing a more heart-healthy diet does not mean restricting foods to the point of displeasure. You should feel comfortable having the occasional indulgence. If the majority of your diet is geared towards taking care of your heart, then a treat every once in a while will not throw off your progress.