Heart Healthy Diet Plans
With cardiovascular diseases being one of the top disease killers in India, it is necessary for individuals and families to adopt healthy eating practices to help lower their risk of heart diseases. While other factors like exercising and stress levels also play a role, the foods you eat are very important for your heart health. A good way to limit your risk of cardiovascular diseases is to be on a heart healthy diet plan. This involves eating foods that help keep your cholesterol levels low as well as your blood pressure.
A heart healthy diet comprises foods which are:
1. Low in Sodium
Too much sodium in your body is bad for your heart and health as a whole. With the recommended daily intake of salt being less than a teaspoon, you’ll need to limit your intake of salt. This may involve staying away from processed foods and limiting your use of salt in your meals.
2. Low in Unhealthy Fat
Avoid foods high in unhealthy saturated fats or trans fats as they are bad for your health. These fats can get into your arteries and cause clogs which can cause increased blood pressure as your heart struggles to pump blood throughout your body.
3. High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
A diet high in omega-3 acids is beneficial because omega-3s help reduces triglyceride levels, lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart attack and strokes. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, sardines, herring, kale, chia seeds, hemp seeds etc.
4. High in Antioxidants
Foods rich in antioxidants are a must in any heart healthy diet because antioxidants help your body fight free radicals which can cause oxidative damage, which is a known factor in heart disease. Antioxidant rich foods have been linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. Good sources of antioxidants which you should add to your diet include green tea, dark chocolate, kale, blueberries, strawberries etc.
5. High in Fiber
Foods high in both soluble and insoluble fiber can help reduce your bad cholesterol levels and also lower your blood pressure levels. Fiber also helps you feel full faster, lowering your risk of overeating and gaining unhealthy weight. Foods high in fiber include oats, barley, carrots, oranges, etc.
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