How to Eat for a Healthy Heart
Heart disease is a major cause for concern for many people. Unhealthy eating habits can take a toll on your heart, increasing the risk of a stroke or a heart attack. It’s never too late to change your eating habits, especially if you want to prolong your life and reduce the risk of cardiovascular illnesses. Here are some ways that you could eat your way to a healthy heart:
Stay Away from Complex Fats
Saturated fats and other complex fats can build up around your heart and clog veins and arteries, which in turn puts you at risk for coronary disease. Fatty foods and processed foods contain complex fats, and fast-food is notorious for high levels of bad cholesterol. When consumed in excess, too many complex fats become very difficult for your body to break down. With nowhere to go, the fats have to be stored somewhere, like your heart tissues.
If you’re at risk for heart disease, or if you want to keep your heart healthy, it’s best to stay away from saturated and other complex fats. There are many other natural oils available that you can cook with that do not have the same harmful effects as oils loaded with bad cholesterol.
Use Less Sodium
Sodium is also a known culprit in heart disease. Salty foods, especially chips and junk food, are loaded with salt. Soda and other sodium compounds found in soft drinks and medicine also add to excessive sodium intake. Consuming more than 2,300 grams of sodium puts you at a greater risk of heart disease. Here are some ways that you can consume less sodium for a healthier heart:
Do not add too much salt to dishes you’re cooking yourself. You can add new and exciting flavors to any dish if you use herbs and other salt-free flavorings.
Stay away from monosodium glutamate.
For snacks, avoid pre-packaged, high-sodium snacks like chips.
Eat a low-sodium diet.
Always check the labels of products to check sodium levels and percentages.
Increase Fiber Intake
Vegetables and fruits are an excellent source of fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals to keep your heart strong and healthy. Fiber is also a key component in metabolism, because it helps break down fats and other complicated substances that may build up around heart tissues.
Coupled with exercise, stress relief, avoiding vice, and an active and healthy lifestyle, a heart-friendly diet is a good first step to a healthy mind and body. With these tips to help you eat your way to a healthy heart, you can prolong your life and rid yourself of any risk of cardiovascular disease.