Why is a heart healthy diet so important?
It helps you manage your weight and reduce the risk of a heart attack. Obesity is the number one cause of heart attack in America.
A large percentage of Americans eat a diet that is high in saturated fats and sugar.
You need to eat foods that are high in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. Avoid foods that have too much fat, salt and sugar. Here are a few tips to helping you to create your own heart healthy diet:
Eat Fresh Vegetables: There are many vegetables that you can eat raw as snacks. Carrot sticks, celery, red bell peppers, snow peas and green beans all make excellent snacks. Eat lots of green leafy vegetables such as, spinach, bok choy, romaine lettuce and cabbage. All of these vegetable are high in vital vitamins and minerals and will help keep your heart healthy.
Fresh Fruit: High in vitamin C and a great substitute to sugary foods are: pineapple, orange, banana, apple and strawberries. All are readily available from your local supermarket. Next time you feel like something sweet, pick up a piece of fruit and get rid of those cravings.
Lean Protein: Eat skinless chicken, fish, seafood and lean red meat. They are all packed with protein and essential amino acids that help keep your heart healthy.
Beans and Legumes: They are low in fat and high in fiber. These little wonders are super foods that can help you balance your protein needs if you don’t eat meat. Chickpeas, navy beans, lima beans, red kidney beans and broad beans are all easy to prepare and are great when added to stir-fries.
Almonds: These are high in protein and essential fats. Just one handful a day can give you the energy boost you need. Instead of snacking of a packet of chips, try a few nuts instead.
Stay Hydrated: The human body contains 70% water. Most people are dehydrated or chronically dehydrated. This makes you feel hungry when you are really thirsty. Good, clean and pure water flushes toxins from your system and purifies your blood. Healthy blood means a healthy heart. Drink at least ½ a gallon of fresh water a day to stay hydrated.
Exercise: Your heart needs exercise to stay healthy. It improves your cardiovascular fitness, helps you manage your weight and gives you more energy. Just 30 minutes of exercise a day can make all the difference to your heart.
So remember to take this information to heart; it’s very important to a heart healthy diet!