When it comes to preventing heart disease, one of the best things that you can be doing is to be eating a heart healthy diet. By practicing a heart healthy diet, not only are you improving your overall health, but you are also lowering your risk factors of having cholesterol and other fats start building up in your arteries, having your blood vessels start constricting on themselves, and that means your heart will be getting the oxygenated blood it needs to keep you upright and alive. So what are the aspects of a heart healthy diet?
Limit the Amounts of Unhealthy Fats You EatCredit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Childhood_Obesity_and_Milkshakes.jpg
One of the easiest things to do in eating a heart healthy diet is to limit the amount of saturated fats and trans fats that you eat every day. That means limiting the amount of high fat dairy and meat products like whole or 2% milk and butter, as well as red meats. In substitution for these products, you can utilize 1% or skim milk, low fat or zero trans fat margarine, lean proteins from white meats, and use olive oil to cook with and use rather than higher fat oils like palm or coconut.
Increase Your Fruit and Vegetable IntakeCredit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vegetables_0006.JPG
In conjunction with the lowering the amounts of unhealthy fats you eat, the key to having a heart healthy diet is for you to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Filled with vitamins, minerals, and even proteins, a diet that is filled with fruits and vegetables will help you feel full without having the fatty proteins that red meat. In fact, just substituting one meal with proteins from beans instead of red meats could reduce your fat intake up to 5% for the entire week! That's something worth considering right there.
Get the Right Amount of SaltCredit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:RealSalt.jpeg
A vast majority of us don't have a heart healthy diet because we take in way too much salt. If you find that you are going out to eat at restaurants routinely or worse, eating fast food regularly, you are undoubtedly getting too much salt. The target amount of salt for a heart healthy diet is about 1 teaspoon - however, a majority of restaurant and fast food meals have three, four, or even five times that amount. Put it this way - if you eat two fast food hamburgers, just the hamburgers, in one week, you've likely exceeded your recommended salt intake. On the flip side, don't be so proactive that you aren't getting enough salt either. Your body uses the salt to help keep a healthy balance.Credit: http://www.doctorq.ca/symptoms-of-a-heart-attack.html
By following these simple, easy tips that are admittedly easier to put onto paper than put into practice, you will find that not only are you eating a heart healthy diet, but you are eating a body healthy diet. Routines can be difficult to break at first, so don't be discouraged by a relapse here and there. Practicing a heart healthy diet is about practicing a whole lifestyle - by starting today, you will be getting yourself on the right path immediately.