Our nutrition plays a crucial role in helping us maintain our heart health as we age. And, through the right foods, diet, and lifestyle, we can also keep at bay diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems.
However, if the wide range of often contrasting information out there is confusing you, you are not the only one! In this blog post, we’ll try to provide some clarity and guidance to help you start eating your way to optimal heart health.
Let’s look at what you can do below, Eat Your Way to Better Heart Health.
5 Tips To Improve Your Nutrition – And Stick to Healthy Eating!
If you are looking to make positive changes in your eating habits to safeguard the health and well-being of your heart, the tips below can set you on the right path.
Let’s get started.
It’s Not Just About Weight Loss
Eating better can help you improve your heart health by keeping at bay diseases such as high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. But, improving your eating habits does much more than just help you maintain a healthy weight: it can help you stay happy and healthy in the long term!
A balanced diet with healthy foods can help keep your body functioning at its best, boost your energy levels, stabilize your mood, and provide you with the necessary nutrients for health.
Partner With a Specialized Healthcare Provider
A specialized healthcare professional can help you optimize your nutrition and heart health. For example, speaking to a nutritionist or getting in touch with the department of Cardiovascular care at Rumcsi can help you better understand your nutrition and health needs and choose an eating regime that can improve your general well-being.
Build a Better Relationship With Food
According to statistics, nearly 30 million American adults – or around 9% of the population – will suffer from at least one eating disorder in their lifetime. And, if you have an eating disorder, the chances are that your relationship with food, portions, and ingredients is influencing your heart health.
In this case, the first step to take is to consult a specialized professional that can help you recover and understand how to make food work better for your needs.
Combine Healthy Eating With Good Lifestyle Choices
Eating healthy food is an important part of maintaining a healthy heart, but it’s just one aspect. To safeguard your heart health in the long run, take up good lifestyle changes as well. Exercise regularly, avoid smoking, drink in moderation, strive for plenty of restful sleep, and learn to manage stress to improve your overall cardiovascular health.
Find a Diet That Works for Your Unique Needs
When it comes down to designing a nutritional plan for your needs, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. So, make sure to undergo all the necessary tests and choose a diet that makes the most sense for you.
For example, if you suffer from diabetes, you may look into ways to manage your diabetes through your diet. Alternatively, if you have Celiac disease, you may look for strategies to consume enough fiber while avoiding gluten.
6 Ways To Start Eating for Your Heart Health Today
If you are ready to improve your heart health through proper nutrition but you don’t know where to start, the tips below can help.
Let’s get started.
Stick to Natural and Unprocessed Foods and Ingredients
Firstly, cut down on processed and pre-packaged foods, including meat, canned products, and refined carbs. These foods are packed with added sugar, salt, and fat, causing you to eat more of these ingredients than you’d want.
Additionally, these foods are high in calories, which can prevent you from achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. And, don’t forget that being overweight or obese is a major risk factor for heart problems such as heart attacks!
To avoid the cascade of complications that these foods can cause, consider sticking to natural and unprocessed foods.
Stock Up on Seasonal Fruit, Vegetables, Nuts, Seeds, and Legumes
Eating local and seasonal fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes is a great way to stock up on heart-healthy proteins and nutrients while staying away from pesticides and other chemicals. If you are unsure how to choose products and ingredients that are good for you, consider speaking to local farmers and shopping at a local farmer’s market!
Choose Whole Grains and High-Fiber Foods
Carbs are essential for health, but not all carbs are created equal. Eating whole grains, like oats, barley, and quinoa along with other high-fiber foods such as beans, nuts, and seeds can help you support your heart and digestive health. These nutrient-dense fibers help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, thus preventing heart disease.
Cut Down on Refined Sugars, Saturated Fats, and Alcohol
Refined sugar and saturated fat raise the levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol in your bloodstream, which increases your risk of developing coronary artery disease, heart attack, or stroke. Saturated fats are found mainly in animal products like eggs, cheese, and butter, as well as processed food like biscuits and fried items.
Additionally, excessive or regular consumption of alcohol can lead to various heart health problems like high blood pressure, stroke, atrial fibrillation, cardiomyopathy, and other heart diseases.
Ultimately, abstaining from or limiting your intake of alcoholic beverages, refined sugars, and saturated fats is best for achieving optimal heart health.
Understand the Importance of Portions and Practice Mindful Eating
The key to healthy eating is understanding how much food your body needs, and feeling satisfied when you’ve had enough. Observe serving suggestions and try breaking meals into smaller portions. A great way to improve your nutrition and relationship with food is to practice mindful eating!
Limit Salt Intake
Too much salt can be detrimental to heart health, which makes it important to understand how much salt you are consuming on a daily basis. Limiting sodium intake helps reduce blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
If you are looking for alternative ways to make your food or recipes more flavorful without salt, consider using fresh herbs, spices, and alternatives such as celery salt.
Make Small – but Sustainable! – Changes
When it comes to improving your heart health, what matters are the small sustainable changes that you can introduce into your routine in the long term. For example, simply adding fruits and vegetables to your diet or limiting alcohol to one or two drinks a week can help you safeguard your health as you age. And, don’t forget to stay as active as possible!
Also Read: How to Get More Protein Into Your Snacks