There are so many “diets” out there with promises of weight loss and improved heart health. It can become very confusing to decide which “diet” to follow. Below are some tips that re proven to be heart healthy:
· Eat a diet low in saturated fats-minimize the fried, buttery, creamy, red meat items in your diet
· Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day
· Eat fish twice a week-salmon, sardines and tuna are a few that are very high in the Omega-3 fatty acids which are heart healthy! Do not fry your fish!
· Dairy products should be low-fat, part-skim, or 1% fat or lower
· Olive oil and Canola oil should be used for cooking rather than corn or vegetable oil
· Consume less than one teaspoon of salt per day (if you have high blood pressure, you should limit sodium intake to less than 2,000 mg/day)
· Women should limit alcohol intake to 1 drink per day and men 2 drinks per day
· A handful of walnuts or almonds are a good snack. They are high in fiber and contain Omega-3 fatty acids
· Add some Cinnamon to your diet-this will help keep your blood sugar stable and may slightly improve your cholesterol levels
· Add plant sterols to your diet-these are naturally occurring chemicals in plants that can lower your LDL (bad cholesterol) and they are found in Smart Balance, Benecol and Promise Activ Supershots.
· Consume whole grains and fiber-avoid the white breads, white rice and pasta. White flour breaks down to sugar very quickly in your body and can increase your blood sugar and triglyceride levels
· Finally, every heart healthy diet should include physical activity. At least 30 minutes per day of walking, biking, weight training, etc. As little as 10 minute intervals can have a positive effect on your blood pressure, heart rate and all of the risk factors for heart disease.
Small changes in diet and activity levels can have a significant impact on your heart health. Set small goals and start your heart healthy lifestyle!
“Take Charge: A Woman’s Guide to a Healthier Heart” is our new pocket sized reference book that includes many heart healthy tips and ways to follow a heart healthy lifestyle. Easy to use charts and pictures included to help you along your journey to a longer and healthier life. Now available at http://heart-strong.com/Bookstore.html (amazon.com and barneandnoble.com)