When it comes to preventing heart disease and repairing damage to cells, eating a heart healthy diet is key. By simply watching what you eat and focusing on a heart healthy diet, you can keep you and your heart healthy.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids contain fiber, magnesium, and potassium and are a key ingredient to keeping your heart healthy. Omega-3 comes in a variety of foods, such as salmon, tuna, flaxseed, oatmeal, and black or kidney beans. Nuts like almonds and walnuts are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which also contain vitamin E.
Fruits and Vegetables
Vegetables contain all sorts of healthy ingredients, which are great for a heart healthy diet, for example, vitamin C and E, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and fiber. Vegetables that include these ingredients are broccoli, spinach, carrots, red bell peppers, asparagus, and acorn squash, to name a few. Fruits also contain these same ingredients and are perfect, just like vegetables, to eat any time of the day. Blueberries, tomatoes, cantaloupe, oranges, and papaya, are all packed with heart healthy nutrients.
When it comes to eating healthy there are healthy fats and unhealthy fats. It is important that you know which fats are good for you in order to keep your heart healthy. Good fats consist of olive oil, canola oil, and margarine that is trans fat free. Bad fats and fats that should be limited include butter, lard, bacon fat, gravy, cream sauce, and nondairy creamers.
It is important to keep your sodium intake down in order to prevent high blood pressure, which is a risk for cardiovascular disease. There are low-salt items that you can choose, such as herbs and spices, salt substitutes, and reduced-salt soups and condiments. High-salt items that should be avoided are table salt, canned soups and prepared foods, such as frozen dinners, and soy sauce, along with tomato juice.
Other Key To a Heart Healthy Diet
It is important that you watch the amount of food you eat, portion sizes are just as important as what you eat. Be sure that you select whole grains to include in your heart healthy diet; they are a great source of fiber and other nutrients that help keep your blood pressure at a normal level. Limiting unhealthy fats and cholesterol can help keep your heart healthy. Unhealthy fats and cholesterol contain large amounts of saturated and trans fats, by limiting these items you can keep your cholesterol down and reduce the risk of developing coronary artery disease. High cholesterol levels can also lead to plaque buildup in your arteries, which can cause a heart attack or stroke. Eliminate the amount of butter, margarine, and shortening that you use when cooking.