Care For Your Heart With Healthy Diet This World Heart Day
Every year, 29th September is celebrated as World Heart Day to spread awareness about heart health globally. It aims at informing people that cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), including stroke and heart diseases, are the leading cause of death, preventing CVDs, and reducing fatalities occurring due to them effectively. World Heart Federation first celebrated this day in September 2000 to educate people on the significance of heart health and help them become heart-healthy. So, it is crucial to care for your heart and cardiovascular system to ensure its smooth functioning.
The heart is a vital organ of our body that beats around the clock without any break. Its every beat is crucial for our survival and good health. So, it’s our duty to care for it. Eating right, healthy food and staying active are the fundamental steps to ensure good health of your heart. However, even to stay active, you need energy that you can receive only from healthy, nutritious food. To maintain good heart health, the adage ‘food as medicine’ stands true. So, you need to care for your heart by eating heart-healthy foods. Opting for a heart-healthy diet can help you include healthy foods to ensure good health and the functioning of your heart. So, let’s have a look at how a heart-healthy diet plan can help your body and how you can follow a diet for a healthy heart.
How does a Diet for a Healthy Heart Impacts our Health Positively?
Following a heart-healthy diet plan promotes not just good heart health but also overall good health. A diet for a healthy heart promotes good health by:
- Minimizing Cholesterol: High levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol cause a plaque build-up in your arteries that increases your risk of stroke and heart attack. Including foods good for the heart minimizes LDL cholesterol and promotes good cardiovascular health.
- Reducing Blood Pressure: High blood pressure reduces the elasticity of your arteries over time, thereby damaging them. As the arteries turn less elastic due to hypertension, it makes it harder for oxygen and blood to flow to the heart. A heart-healthy diet keeps your blood pressure in check.
- Fuelling Our Body with All Essential Nutrients: Packed with all crucial nutrients, heart-healthy diets supply our body and heart with a healthy dose of nutrients, such as vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and more.
- Keeping Weight in Check: Obesity and overweight increase your risk of suffering from coronary artery disease, stroke, and heart failure as well as diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. Opting for a diet for a healthy heart prevents you from putting on excess weight and keeps the risk of all these heart health hazards at bay.
9 Easy Dietary Tips to Follow a Heart Healthy Diet Plan:
Following the right, healthy dietary tips are keys to keeping up with a diet for a healthy heart and enjoying good heart health. Here’s a quick rundown of easy yet effective diet tips to keep your heart in good health effortlessly.
Focus on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables:
Fresh fruits are low in sodium and calories and rich in fibre, minerals, antioxidants, and other crucial nutrients. So, they help lower cholesterol effectively and keep your cardiovascular system and heart healthy. So, you may include blueberries, citrus fruits, apples, and other fruits in your heart-healthy diet plan. Also, leafy greens, carrots, cabbage, and beetroot are some of the many vegetables that top the list of foods good for the heart. Eating these fruits and vegetables regularly minimizes the risk of heart health issues and keeps your heart in good health. So, enrich your diet for a healthy heart with these nutritious foods.
Reduce the Intake of Added Sugar:
We unknowingly end up eating plenty of sugar daily through various processed foods and beverages. Consuming sugar-laden foods and drinks can cause hypertension, increase triglycerides, and lower HDL (good) cholesterol. Also, a high intake of sugar leads to unhealthy weight gain. All these changes are harmful to our heart health. This is why it is crucial to minimize the intake of added sugar. Sugary beverages and processed foods are the biggest culprits of added sugar. So, replace sugary beverages with plain water in your heart-healthy diet plan. And, substitute processed foods with fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods as they supply you with appropriate quantities of natural sugar, which is not harmful, and a healthy dose of nutrients.
Fill Up on Fibre:
A diet which is abundant in fibre brims with health benefits. Fibre keeps your cholesterol and blood sugar in check, helps you stay full for longer and aids in weight management. Oats, whole grains foods, beans, fruits, and lentils are some heart-healthy foods rich in fibre that you can include in your diet.
Choose Whole Grains Options:
Besides being an excellent source of fibre, whole grains supply you with a healthy dose of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Refined foods fail to offer you these nutrients. So, be sure that your diet for a healthy heart includes plenty of whole-grain options. Refrain from eating processed or refined food options. It helps lower the risk of heart diseases and you enjoy good heart health effortlessly.
Opt for Healthy Fat Sources:
Fried foods, high-fat dairy products, and red meat are high in saturated fats, cholesterol, and trans fats. Eating them makes you gain excess weight and increases your risk of developing heart diseases. Choose to eat foods rich in healthy fats such as:
- Oils: Canola and olive oils that have unsaturated fats
- Proteins: Flaxseeds, nuts, salmon, and legumes
- Dairy: Skimmed milk, cottage cheese, and yoghurt which are healthy for the heart, bones, and blood pressure.
Have Small Meals Frequently:
Instead of eating heavy meals twice or thrice a day, prefer to have smaller meals four to six times a day. This helps improve your metabolism and keeps your blood sugar in check. Also, having more meals enables you to have a variety of nutrients from different kinds of foods throughout the day. All these are beneficial for good heart health.
Don’t Skip Your Meals:
Although skipping meals seems to be an easy option to get in shape, it’s not healthy. Skipping your meals reduces your metabolism and burns less energy. You may feel fatigued and sluggish. As you skip your meals, you end up overeating during the next meal. So, you happen to gain excess weight, which is not healthy for your heart and overall health. So, have your meals on time and avoid skipping them.
Limit Your Intake of Salt:
Although salt is necessary for iodine intake, excess salt can be harmful to your health. Salt contains sodium which increases the blood pressure that puts you at risk of heart disease and stroke. So, limit your intake of salt. Consulting a certified nutritionist can help have adequate salt intake in your diet for a healthy heart and prevent its excessive consumption. Avoid eating processed foods, canned soups, and frozen meals as they contain plenty of sodium.
Avoid Heavy Drinking:
High alcohol consumption puts you at a high risk of developing hypertension, obesity, liver disease, and other serious health issues. Heavy drinking also causes a spike in LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides that increase your risk of suffering from stroke or heart attack. So, it is wise to avoid alcohol consumption. If you can’t put a stop to the intake of alcohol, moderation is the key.
So, let’s gear up this World Heart Day to improve our heart health and prevent the risk of CVDs and other heart problems by going for a customised heart-healthy diet plan. Consulting certified nutritionists and dieticians at Health Total can help you receive a personalized diet comprising all heart-healthy foods and devoid of foods harmful to your heart and foods that cause heartburn. This helps you keep your beating heart in the best health. Also, Health Total specializes in offering your integrated treatment comprising diet, Ayurveda, and homeopathy that helps you enjoy good heart health naturally. Such an integrated treatment is not just beneficial for your heart health but also effective in boosting your immunity, managing your weight, and improving your overall health. So, be quick, get in touch with us at Health Total, and embrace a healthy heart with our customised diet for a healthy heart.
Sign up for a FREE consultation with Health Total experts to get more tips on improving cardiac health with nutrigenomics gene testing for cardiac health and diet or any health condition. Call toll-free at 1-800-843-0206 and book an appointment!