Heart disease is a major health problem in the United States. When it comes to risk levels, some factors are beyond your control. for example, blood typeBut other factors, such as diet, are more variable. Everyone from the American Heart Association to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends specific food choices to support a healthy heart. It is worth keeping in mind when planning your weekly diet as it can reduce other potential cardiovascular problems such as.
Keep reading to find out which foods to look for and what a heart-healthy diet looks like overall.
What is a heart-healthy diet?
Research has revealed two things: foods that are more dangerous to the heart and foods that strengthen the heart. Luckily, you won’t get hit by a lot of curveballs.The best foods for heart health are probably the foods you already consider healthy. Likewise, foods that aren’t very heart-healthy are probably already on your radar because they don’t do you any good.
Before we dive in here, let me say: everything is in moderation. I know I have heart health problems, no need to cut food or make drastic changes. I’m not saying you can never eat another bacon or open another soda. can be incorporated into more meals.
Now let’s talk about the details. According to the AHA and the Department of Health, a heart-healthy diet is rich in:
- lean protein
- Complex carbohydrates rich in fiber
- healthy fat
A diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy proteins and fats will give your body the fiber, vitamins, and minerals it needs to support a healthy heart.
Conversely, if you’re trying to improve your cardiovascular health, you should limit your intake of:
- trans fat
- saturated fat
- Processed meats (e.g. lunch meat, salami, hot dogs)
- too much salt
- extra sugar
- Refined carbohydrates (such as white bread and snacks)
- red meat
- excess alcohol
Don’t panic if many of your favorites are on the not-for-heart list. You can still include them in your diet (unless your doctor says otherwise). Make sure these foods don’t replace your entire diet, and try to add as many heart-healthy foods to your day as possible.
heart healthy food
If you want to feel better about how your next grocery shopping can affect your heart health, you can pick up items in these specific categories.
1. Fruits and vegetables
Remember the old food pyramid? Your body benefits from eating a fair amount of produce.
This is because vegetables and fruits are more nutrient dense per bite. Bananas and sweet potatoes provide potassium, a mineral important for heart health. Cruciferous vegetables help prevent clogged arteries. Leafy greens provide fiber that helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Simply put, the more produce you pack, the better. If fresh produce doesn’t fit your budget or lifestyle, don’t worry. You can get many nutritional benefits from frozen, dried and canned options. Just make sure they are marked as low sodium.
2. Whole grains
Not all carbs are bad. Refined carbohydrates, such as those found in white bread, pass through the body and are usually harmful. However, complex carbohydrates such as those found in whole grain products provide the fiber already mentioned as a heart health booster.
Additionally, they are often packed with vitamins and minerals such as iron, selenium, thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), folic acid (vitamin B9) and magnesium. If you’re looking for a heart-healthy diet, look for products with whole grains on the ingredient list. Additionally, complex carbohydrates are found in beans, potatoes, peas, and corn.
3. Lean vegetable protein
Certain proteins, such as red and processed meats, can put a strain on the heart, while others top the food list for heart health. There are plenty of options, so be prepared with the following:
- Fish, especially fish high in omega-3 fatty acids
- low fat dairy
Swapping out some of the lean meat and cured pork in the options above will do the heart a favor.
4. Healthy Fats
You may think fat causes heart disease, but it’s all type of fat. Many studies have linked trans and saturated fats to cardiovascular problems, but your body, including your heart, needs healthy fats. These can be obtained from fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, and moderate amounts of vegetable oils such as:
- Olive oil
- sesame oil
- soybean oil
- canola oil
- corn oil
- safflower oil
As a general rule of thumb, if a fat is solid at room temperature, it’s probably saturated.idea butter (controversial for health) versus olive oil (definitely part of a heart-healthy diet).
5. Heart Check Food
The American Heart Association certifies certain foods for heart health and gives them the Heart Check seal on some food packages. Once you’ve got that seal, you can easily stock your cart with heart-healthy foods.
For best results, combine it with a heart-healthy diet. Other Heart Health Boosters favorite regular exercise, sleepy and stress management techniques. Knowing your blood type is also helpful. its meaning About the risk of certain cardiovascular diseases.
THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS ARTICLE IS FOR EDUCATIONAL AND INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT INTENDED AS HEALTH OR MEDICAL ADVICE. Talk to your health care provider.