Tips & Tricks
Diet For Heart Disease: 7 Best Heart-healthy Eating Tips
Although you may be aware that certain foods increase your risk of heart disease, changing your eating habits can be difficult. Here are seven heart-healthy eating tips, whether you’ve been eating unhealthy for years or just want to fine-tune your diet. You would have a better diet if you suffered from heart disease.
1. Fruits and vegetables
A healthy diet should include at least five portions of fruits and vegetables per day. Try to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.
They are available fresh, dried, frozen, or canned. Pure unsweetened fruit juice, beans, and pulses count as a portion, but they can only count for one of your five a day, no matter how much you eat in one day.
A portion is roughly equivalent to a handful (80 gram), for example:
- 1 pear
- 3 tablespoons of carrots
- 4 broccoli florets
- 7-8 strawberries
Salt is the most commonly used condiment in the US. In addition to balancing the taste of food, salt also helps the thyroid function properly. According to CDC, excessive salt consumption raises the risk of developing high blood pressure, which raises your chances of getting coronary heart disease.
Remember that some people should cut down on their sodium intake even further, possibly to no more than 1,500 mg per day. This limit is recommended for all Americans, especially those with diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or high blood pressure.
Alcohol has an effect on the cardiovascular system. When you drink alcohol, it can cause a temporary increase in heart rate and blood pressure. Long-term excessive drinking can result in an increased heart rate, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and weakened heart muscle. All of these factors may increase the risk of an alcohol-related heart attack or stroke.
If you drink alcohol, it’s critical to stick to the recommended limits, whether you drink daily, weekly, monthly, or only occasionally. In the US, a standard drink contains approximately 14 grams of pure alcohol, which is the amount found in 12 ounces (355 mL) of regular beer, 5 ounces (150 mL) of wine, or 1.5 ounces (45 mL) of spirit (1).
4. Whole grains
Whole grains are high in fiber and other nutrients that help regulate blood pressure and improve heart health. Eating more whole grains has been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Research from Havard shows that people who eat more whole grains can reduce heart health risk factors (2).
Here are some whole grains products to choose:
- Whole-wheat flour
- Whole-grain bread or whole-wheat bread
- Oatmeal (steel-cut or regular)
- High-fiber cereal with 5g or more fiber in a serving
- Whole-grain pasta
- Whole grains such as brown barley, rice, and buckwheat
According to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, there are three types of fat including:
- Unsaturated fats: Unsaturated fats, which are liquid at room temperature, are regarded as beneficial fats. They can improve blood cholesterol levels, stabilize heart rhythms, reduce inflammation, and perform a variety of other functions. Unsaturated fats can be Monounsaturated fats (olive, peanut, avocado, almonds, hazelnuts, and pumpkin) or Polyunsaturated fats (sunflower, corn, walnuts, soybean, and flax seeds).
- Saturated fat: Saturated fat is a type of dietary fat. Along with trans fat, it is one of the unhealthy fats which are most often solid at room temperature. Too much saturated fat in the blood can raise cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of coronary heart disease. In the US, the main sources of saturated fat in the diet are cheese and pizza, meat products (bacon, beef, sausage, hamburgers), cookies, and mixed fast food dishes.
- Trans fats: Trans fats, which can be found in beef fat and dairy fat in small amounts, are the worst type of fat for the heart, blood vessels, and rest of the body. This type of fat raises the amount of cholesterol in the blood, creates inflammation, and contributes to insulin resistance.
6. High protein food
Many people follow high-protein diets, which can help them lose weight and gain muscle mass. However, scientists are increasingly questioning whether high protein foods provide enough benefits to outweigh the risks. According to a study by the American College of Cardiology, diets which are protein-rich may be directly responsible for heart problems, such as atherosclerosis (3).
Legumes (peas, beans, and lentils) are also high in protein, low in fat, and cholesterol-free, making them excellent meat substitutes. Substituting plant protein for animal protein, such as a bean burger in place of a hamburger, lowers fat and cholesterol while increasing fiber intake.
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In 2021, there are various ways to improve your heart health. We recommend seven eating tips listed above in detail, which help you plan a diet for heart disease. A healthy diet can help you lower the risk of developing heart disease, keep you from gaining weight, and reduce your risk of high blood pressure and diabetes.