Between ads, social media and WhatsApp gossip, general health trends, contradictory food blogs, and news snippets, a cloud of confusion can loom over our perception of “healthy eating.” The following simple solutions can lead to clear skies—and a clear understanding.
The diet+ heart-health link works as a sort of chain reaction: If you eat inappropriately, you tend to gain weight, and increased weight predisposes you to accelerated risk factors for heart diseases such as diabetes, heartburn ,hypertension, mitral valve disorders, high cholesterol.
Obese individuals may not experience symptoms of these conditions acutely when they’re young, but ten or 15 years down the road, these illnesses can become a major part of—any problem in—their lives.
Foods for Healthy Heart
Heart-healthy foods hide in the back of your cupboard, wait patiently in your freezer and line the shelves of your local supermarket. You just need to know where to look.
Find the Fiber
Scientists link fiber consumption to reduced levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol, decreased the risk of heart disease and slowed disease progression for people already dealing with cardiovascular troubles.
Want to start the day off right with a flavorful, fiber-loaded breakfast? Grab a loaf of whole-wheat bread from an artisanal bakery or farmer’s market, and then warm a slice in your oven and add natural peanut butter. Or try steel-cut oatmeal topped with apricots, peaches, and walnuts.
Fiber also shows up in:
- Other whole-wheat products, from English muffins to pretzels
- Grains such as barley, bran or brown rice
- Nearly all fresh fruits; apples, bananas, and mangoes are particularly rich in fiber
- Nearly all fresh vegetables; especially carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, and beets.
Pass the Salt
If dinner is bland, it’s normal to reach for the shaker and hopes your blood pressure doesn’t notice, but the majority of salt intake comes from the natural sodium in foods. From baking soda biscuits to boxed cereals, many foods that don’t taste salty can ambush the unwary eater with sodium.
Too much sodium in the diet directly correlates with the likelihood of experiencing high blood pressure, a major risk factor for developing heart disease. The average American older than age two consumes more than 3,400 milligrams (mg) of sodium each day, but the recommended maximum is 1,500 mg.
To lower your sodium intake, try:
- Eating at restaurants less often—this is where most sodium-packed meals originate.
- Staying away from specialty-flavored coffee shop drinks, such as a salted caramel mocha, and drinking hot tea instead.
- Replacing salty snack foods with fruits and unsalted nuts.
- Sticking with fresh grain products— they average about 10 percent of the sodium content of processed grains.
- Avoiding canned foods—canned beans can contain 80 times as much salt as dried or frozen beans.
Try Omega-3s and These
Along with generally increasing fiber intake and decreasing sodium content in your diet, you can bring healthy nutrients to your heart by consuming the following items that prevent congenital heart disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce risks of heart disease, can be found in soybean, flaxseed oils, walnuts, chia seeds, etc..
- The much-hyped glass of red wine each day may probably reduce heart disease risks because of nutrients called flavonoids that prevent plaque buildup in blood vessels. More than moderate drinking, however, increases cancer risks.
- An apple a day… provides flavonoids!
- Potassium can help prevent high blood pressure, so make bananas, tomatoes, citrus, sweet potatoes, green leaf lettuce and dates a regular part of your diet.
Fresh foods are always better for heart health. Eating lean meats, fish, and fruits and vegetables now can help ensure that your golden years are longer and more healthful.
For more information about Heart-related issues book an appointment with the Best Cardiologist in India.