The goal with any heart healthy diet to to improve the overall balance within your body through reducing colesterol and lipids, the fat molecule. There are endless tips about how to achieve this, but here are the tried and true tips for improving your heart health.
You might think to yourself “that’s not a nutrition tip,” but the main point here is to burn off as many calories as you take in. This means if you have a huge portion of pasta or a slice of cake, make sure to account for some extra exercise in your daily routine to compensate for the increase in claories. The American Heart Association recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of daily exercise, with the goal of 60 minutes a day.
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
These are a great source of vitamin and minerals and the preferred source of them for your body. Focus on fruits low in fructose like cantaloupe, grapefruit, strawberries, peaches and bananas. Additionally get your vitamins from the REAL source! Your body absorbs more vitamins from the real foods than they do from vitamins or other supplements. Do your best to eat fruit and vegetables that are the “colors of the rainbow”!
Fiber and other nutrients in whole grains play important roles in regulating blood pressure and thus heart health. Farro, quinoa, and barley are great whole-grain sources for fiber.
Eat Less Sodium
Sodium can increase your blood pressure making your heart have to work harder than necessary. In America it’s not as hard as people think to find foods lower in sodium now a days. The American Heart Association Heart Check Mark is visible on many products throughout our grocery stores. Look for it when you’re shopping next time and look at the inredients compared to the normal type. I think you’ll be surprised. You can also look for “low-sodium,” “sodium free,” or “no salt added” on the labels. Overall, healthy adults will only have about a teaspoon of salt a day in their diet. How much salt do you currently intake? Probably somewhere in the tablespoons…
Keep your meals to less than 700 calories each total. This should include any beverages you are drinking. Check out our Basic Nutirion Guidelines post for more details on how to manage your porition control.
It’s ok to have the occasional treat, just plan it into your day and your week so you tip to the healthy side of the scale more often than not. No one is ever perfect, but if you struggle one day just start up again the next day. This should not be an excuse, but a modivator. Remember to strive to Live. All in.TM when your heart health is on the line.
- Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/heart-healthy-diet/art-20047702.
- The American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Nutrition/The-American-Heart-Associations-Diet-and-Lifestyle-Recommendations_UCM_305855_Article.jsp#.WorqXWbMyMI.
- University of Maryland Medical Center. https://www.umm.edu/health/medical/reports/articles/hearthealthy-diet.