Eating certain foods can increase risk of heart attacks, diabetes and strokes. So it’s better to change your eating habits before it is too late. Consume a heart healthy diet to get various benefits including – better sugar levels, cholesterol, weight and blood pressure. Keep reading to find out which foods to eat, and which to limit.
Tips to prevent heart disease
1. Eat more fruits, vegetables and fish
- Plant foods are major source of nutrients and fiber that helps in fighting against heart diseases. Moreover, fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel offer omega 3-fatty acids that reduce the risk of heart related issues. So make sure to eat these foods:
- Include whole grains such as oatmeal and brown rice.
- Use vegetable oils like olive oil and canola oil.
- Eat nuts, beans, and peas.
- Low fat dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are also good for your heart.
- Also don’t forget green leafy vegetables and fruits.
2. Cut back on salt
- Reducing intake of salt can help you control your blood pressure. Make sure not to consume more than 2,400 mg of sodium in a day. Follow these tips to cut back on your salt:
- Avoid canned or processed food.
- Cook rice and pasta without salt. Avoid instant or flavored mixes.
- Avoid eating canned soups, salad dressings, frozen dinners, and pizza etc.
- Use spices, herbs, and salt-free seasoning for cooking.
3. Limit saturated fat
- Eating foods that contain high amount of saturated fat can raise the level of cholesterol in your blood. So limit yourself to saturated fats not more than 7-10% in a day. Make sure to check food labels to know the amount of saturated fat present in your favorite salad dressing, butter, sweets, hard margarine, and fried food etc. Limit fats including:
- Cream sauce
- Non-dairy creamers
- Coconut, cottonseed and palm-kernel oils
- Bacon fat, etc.
More strategies to keep your heart healthy
You also need to change some of your habits as well to keep your heart healthy.
1.Give up smoking
If you’re a smoker, quit. It is one of the best thing that you can do for the health of your heart. Smoking raises the risk of coronary heart disease. Your heart attack risk falls to about half that of a smoker within a year after giving up your smoking habit.
2. Drink less alcohol
Alcohol contains too much of calories and drinking it regularly can have a huge impact on your waistline. So to avoid various serious health issues, try to keep to the recommended daily alcohol limits.
3. Manage your weight
Being overweight can increase the risk of heart disease. So follow a healthy and balanced diet that contains less amount of fat and sugar. Add plenty of fruit and vegetables to your diet, combined with regular physical activity.
4. Regular exercise
Physical activity reduces the risk of developing heart disease. It can also be a great mood booster and stress buster. Make sure to do at least 150 minutes of exercise in a week.
We know making these changes in your lifestyle can feel really tough. But once you incorporate these tips in your life, you’ll find that these habits are both enjoyable and doable.