Maintaining a heart healthy dietFebruary 2, 2015
In today’s world, advertisements are constantly suggesting that you try this superfood or that pill in order to ensure heart health. The solution to being heart healthy won’t ever be as simple as eating just one food or taking just one pill, but it can begin with your diet.
While it can seem overwhelming at first, meeting with your doctor can be a great way to make your diet heart-healthy. Your doctor can help identify the foods currently in your diet that are unhealthy and help suggest alternatives. Some of the Cardiology Associates of Northwest Indiana staff’s favorite heart-healthy foods include: leafy greens such as kale, spinach and watercress, extra-virgin olive oil, tomatoes, grapes and berries, fish, whole grain pastas, breads and brown rice.
Here are some tips to help you succeed in kick-starting a heart-healthy diet.
Make a game plan
Try to plan, plan and prep your meals for the coming week and intentionally choose recipes full of whole grains, lean proteins and fresh fruit and vegetables.
Read nutrition labels
By taking note of fat, sodium and sugar content you can limit your sugar, sodium and fat intake. You should aim to limit fat to less than seven percent and the consumption of trans-fat to less than one percent of your daily calories.
Have the foods you love, like potato chips or Chinese takeout, but in moderation. Cutting out a food completely can make it harder to stay on track and can cause binges of a food.
Try a new way of cooking
Instead of deep-frying or pan-frying when cooking, try baking, broiling or sautéing. Even though the frying might make an item taste better, your heart will thank you.
Seek out heart healthy options
Look at your favorite take-out, fast food or restaurant to see what heart-healthy options exist. Some places even place a heart or other symbol next to foods that are heart-healthy.
Consult your doctor
Before you make any major changes or modifications to what you eat, consult your doctor, they will have suggestions and guides to help you modify your diet.
Remember that no one expects you to make all of these changes overnight, so begin by taking just one step. Remember that while there isn’t a superfood or pill that you can take for a heart-healthy diet, there are simple steps you can take, like the ones above, as a guide for crafting a heart-healthy diet.