Limiting certain foods and eating more of others is the actual key to healthy eating for your heart, experts say.
To help keep the right things at a minimum, read the list below for helpful tips.
Minimum Consumption of Sugar, Salt and Saturated Fat
Empty Sugar Calories
For a sweetener, use local, raw honey instead. Raw honey from your local area will build up your allergy defenses as well. Look at unrefined coconut sugar because it also has low levels of micronutrients. Limit added sugar to 6 teaspoons daily for women and 8 teaspoons for men, per the American Heart Association. Sugar is in many unexpected areas such as marinara sauce, salad dressing, and some pickles. Read the ingredients on items you purchase; you will be shocked at how often sugar is added unexpectedly.
High Salt Equals High Blood Pressure
Keep daily salt consumption under 2,400 milligrams a day, under 1,500 would be ideal. Dropping your salt intake to these levels may be difficult at first, but start with an easy step of eliminating 1,000 milligrams a day for a week. Each week eliminate 1,000 milligrams and getting under 1,500 milligrams will be obtainable. For comparison, 1 teaspoon of salt has 2,300 mg. Avoiding processed foods will help as these are very high in sodium typically.
Fatty meat and trans-fat like hydrogenated oils increase your risk of developing coronary artery disease. Avoid these all together if you can.
Higher Consumption of Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables and Good Fats
Not only are fiber and nutrients in whole grains, they play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. Whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, farro, millet and amaranth are all great options.
Fruits and Vegetables
Vitamins, fiber, and great nutrients are found in fruits and vegetables. Each color of fruit and vegetable offers a different array of health benefits. Substances in plants may help prevent cardiovascular disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Good Fats Decrease Inflammation
Add Omega-3 fatty acids to your daily consumption. Examples would be canola oil, walnuts, ground flaxseed and fatty fish such as salmon. Omega-3 fatty acids decrease inflammation in the body, thereby lowering the risk of heart disease.
Increasing your consumption of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 acids while lowering your intake of saturated fat, salt, and sugar will be actions that your heart will thank you for long term.