Next time you’re making your grocery list, don’t forget to follow your heart.
A heart-healthy diet can make a big difference in reducing your risk of heart disease. The leading killer Throughout the US. Everyone from American Heart Association to the US Department of Health and Human Services He recommends making certain food choices to support a healthy heart. Because heart-healthy foods can reduce other cardiovascular problems — such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol — they’re worth considering when planning your weekly meals.
Keep reading to learn which foods to look for and what a heart-healthy diet looks like in general.
What is a heart healthy diet?
Studies have revealed two things: the foods that are most dangerous for the heart and the foods that make them hard. Fortunately, you can’t hit with a bunch of curve balls. The best foods for heart health you probably already think are healthy. Likewise, not-so-heart-healthy foods may be on your radar because they’re not doing your body any favors.
Before we get in here, let’s say everything in moderation. Unless you already areYou don’t need to cut any foods or make drastic changes. We’re not saying you can’t have another bacon or another soda crack. Instead, remembering what a heart-healthy diet looks like can help you include more of those foods in your diet.
Now let’s talk in detail. According to the AAA and the Department of Health, a heart-healthy diet is rich in:
- Thin proteins
- Complex carbohydrates rich in fiber
- Healthy fats
A diet full of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy proteins and fats provides your body with the fiber, vitamins, and minerals it needs to support a healthy heart.
Conversely, if you’re trying to increase cardiovascular health, you’ll want to limit the following foods:
- Trans fats
- Saturated fats
- Processed meats (eg lunch meats, salami and hot dogs)
- Too much salt
- Too much sugar
- Refined carbohydrates (eg white bread and snacks)
- Red meat
- Excessive alcohol
If many of your favorites are on the less heart-healthy list, don’t panic. You can still include them in your diet (unless your doctor says otherwise). Make sure these foods don’t take up every meal, and try to add as many heart-healthy foods into your day as you can.
If you want to get a better feel for what your next grocery trip will do for heart health, you can pick up items in these specific categories.
1. Fruits and vegetables
Remember the food pyramid back in the day? He was onto something. Your body benefits from eating less produce.
This is because vegetables and fruits pack a lot of nutrition into one bite. Bananas and sweet potatoes provide potassium. A key mineral for heart health. Cruciferous vegetables can help Prevention of clogged arteries. Leafy greens provide fiber, which can help Lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Short story, the more you pack, the better. And if fresh produce doesn’t fit your budget or lifestyle, don’t worry. You can get many nutritional benefits from frozen, dried and canned options. Check only those labeled low-sodium.
2. Whole grains
Not all carbohydrates are bad. Refined carbohydrates, such as those found in white bread, fly through your body, often doing more harm than good. But complex carbohydrates, as you will find them Whole grain productsprovide heart-healthy fiber.
They are also packed with vitamins and minerals such as iron, selenium, thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), folate (vitamin B9) and magnesium. If you’re looking for a heart-healthy diet, choose products with whole grains on their menu. In addition, complex carbohydrates can be found in beans, potatoes, peas and corn.
3. Lean and vegetable protein
Some proteins — like red and processed meat — can be hard on your heart, while others are on the list of heart-healthy foods. The key here is to look for plant-based protein, lean animal proteins and fish. Experts recommend Mixing protein sources. So you have many options, store:
- Fish is particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Low-fat dairy products
- Poultry farming
Replace some of your red meat and cooked pork with the options above and you’ll be doing something good for your heart.
4. Healthy fats
You may think that fat solves heart problems, but it’s all about Kind of Fat. In many studies, trans and saturated fats have been linked to cardiovascular issues, including your heart. It needs healthy fats. You can find these with fish, nuts and seeds, avocados, and moderate amounts of vegetable oils:
- olive oil
- Sesame oil
- Soybean oil
- Canola oil
- Corn oil
- Sunflower oil
As a general rule of thumb, if the fat is solid at room temperature, it’s probably saturated. If it is liquid, it will probably fall under the non-dilute species. think(controversial for health) with olive oil (definitely part of a heart-healthy diet).
5. Heart-beat foods
The American Heart Association has Certain foods that are proven For heart health and given to them Heart-check stampYou can find it on some food packaging. Once you learn that stamp, stocking your cart with heart-healthy foods will be easy.
For best results, combine your heart-healthy diet withsuch as , and stress management techniques. It may also be helpful to know your blood type. Risk for certain cardiovascular diseases.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have about health conditions or health goals.