A heart healthy diet plan is one that focuses on eating foods that are good for you and reduces the amount of fat, sodium, cholesterol, and other unhealthy components in your diet. There are many different types of foods that fall into this category, and a great example is fruits and vegetables. When you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, you will find that you have fewer instances of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, stroke, and other health problems. If you are not getting enough of these vital nutrients your health can suffer.
Limit Your Consumption Of Saturated Fat
A heart healthy diet plan also requires you to limit your consumption of saturated fat. The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat intake of anything including eggs, butter, cream, and mayonnaise. While there are still some restaurants that will serve foods with saturated fat, you should watch out because many of them will use hydrogenated oils instead. In addition, foods that are made by hydrogenated oils contain more trans fat than foods that are not.
Another key ingredient of a heart healthy diet plan is lean meat. Studies have shown that you can eat a lot of lean meat without increasing your total cholesterol intake and your blood pressure. This is because lean meat contains lower amounts of saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium than other meats.
It is also important to watch how much salt you have in your diet. While sodium can be added in small quantities, too much of it can actually be harmful to your cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that people who have high levels of salt in their bodies have a higher risk of developing hypertension, a condition that causes a narrowing of the blood vessels. Too much salt also increases the likelihood of developing high blood pressure.
Inclusions In Heart Healthy Diet Plan
Along with the fruits and vegetables you need to eat a heart-healthy diet plan include low-fat dairy products, poultry products, fish, legumes, seeds, nuts, and whole grains. Most people find that they get enough calcium through their diets, so why add any more? Lean meats and poultry are great sources of protein, too, and add variety to your food selections. Eggs are another wonderful source of protein, and there are some interesting studies showing that eating eggs may actually protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Whole grains, nuts, and seeds provide fiber, calcium, magnesium, antioxidants, and other nutrients you need for optimal cardiovascular health.
Other Key Component Of Diet
Another key component of a heart healthy diet is to use low-fat dairy products like cheese, yogurt, and butter. If you’re not already consuming at least some dairy in the form of whole milk, then why not start doing so today? Low fat yogurt is especially good if you also eat egg whites (making scrambled eggs a heart-healthy snack). You can also add low fat cottage cheese to your meal planning in addition to any of the other healthy options mentioned above.
As you can see, it’s not that difficult to eat plenty of foods that are good for your heart health and your health overall. Just make sure that your choices are well-balanced and that you pay attention to your sodium intake. By taking these tips into consideration when planning your meal plan, you can be sure to create a heart-healthy diet that meets all of your nutritional needs and doesn’t leave you feeling hungry or craving unhealthy foods.