Avoid the Risk of Heart Disease, Choose a Healthy Heart Diet
A healthy heart diet is a term used today to promote eating foods that are low in cholesterol, low in sodium, and low in saturated fats. By participating in a diet good for the heart you are greatly reducing the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure as well as host of other disorders. You will also be eating a diet that will be good for your waistline. Here are some guidelines to follow for maintaining a healthy heart diet.
Fiber is considered “soluble” or “insoluble”. Both types are good for you and it is recommended that you consume 25-35 grams of dietary fiber each day of both types. When part of a diet low in saturated fat, soluble fat has been shown to lower blood cholesterol and may also lower the risk of diabetes and colon cancer.
To add more fiber in your diet here are some tips.
Foods high in soluble fiber include, oatmeal, beans, peas, rice, citrus, apples and strawberries.
Foods high in insoluble fiber include, whole wheat breads, wheat bran, cabbage, carrots, and cauliflower.
Eat more raw fruits and vegetables. Leave the skins on when appropriate as they are a good source of fiber. Don’t overcook vegetables, it will reduce the fiber content.
Include high fiber foods at every meal. Start out the day with a bowl of bran cereal for breakfast.
Too much sodium in the diet can lead to high blood pressure which will in turn increase the risk of heart disease. Sodium is in many of the products that you eat every day, it’s not just in salt. The goal is to consume less than 2,300mg of sodium daily. People with high blood pressure should stay below 1,500mg per day.
Pay attention to food labels for the sodium levels. Substitute herbs and spices for salt.
It is recommended that you only consume 6 ounces of meat per day for a healthy heart. By doing so will account for 70mg of cholesterol provided that it is lean. The leanest beef cuts are sirloin, chuck, loin, and round. For pork use the tenderloin and loin chop cuts. Organ meats such as livers are extremely high in cholesterol.
Some other tips for preparing meats are:
Remove all visible fat before cooking.
Bake, broil, or grill instead of frying.
Remove the skin from poultry before eating.
Fat Free, Low Fat
Try to choose only fat free or low fat dairy products, if you use whole or 2% milk try to switch to 1% or fat free. Use cheeses that are labeled low fat and part skim.
Cholesterol and Trans Fat
Try to limit the daily intake of cholesterol to 300mg. Eggs have about 200mg per yolk. Use vegetable oils such as canola and olive and soft margarine’s in place of butter or hard margarine and shortening. Learn to read food labels and limit the amount of foods that contain saturated and hydrogenated fats.
Cutback on foods and beverages with a high sugar content. This will lower your calorie intake and help you to lose weight. Sugars come in many forms, as an ingredient they are listed as sucrose, glucose, fructose, and corn syrup just to name a few. Look at the ingredient list and try to stay away from products that list a sugar within the first four ingredients.
The most important thing you can do when choosing foods to buy is to pay attention to the food labels. When you see the term “free” it means to have the least amount of a particular nutrient, “low” will have a little bit more, and “reduced” means it will have 25% less than that of the regular product.