If you are at risk of heart disease or heart failure, the foods you eat can go a long way to prevent a significant heart-related illness. A heart-healthy diet can also increase your overall energy, improve your sleep, and help prevent other health issues like obesity and Type-II diabetes.
If you are concerned about heart health and want to know the heart-healthy foods that will improve your cardiovascular health, read on. This article will share heart-healthy meals and recipes to give you more than a fighting chance against heart disease.
What is the Best Heart-Healthy Diet?
Many organizations develop eating and meal plans aimed at preventing heart disease. The Mediterranean Diet focuses on eating fish, beans, whole grains, fresh veggies, fruit, and healthy fats. Many studies suggest this diet plan is useful in improving heart health.
The DASH Diet is another popular option. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension. It promotes heart health by decreasing your blood pressure.
DASH also focuses on lean meats and plant-based eating, but it also reduces your daily sodium intake to 1,500 to 2,300 mg per day.
Whether you choose a planned diet approach or take your steps to eat heart-healthy meals, there are foods you should avoid.
Foods to Avoid on a Heart-Healthy Meal Plan
Heart-healthy diet recipes are filled with lean meats, whole grains, and green, leafy vegetables. They avoid fried foods and canned foods, candy, chips, and processed snacks. They also steer clear of red meat, deli meat, and foods containing trans fats.
These are all foods that can contribute to heart disease or heart failure. Heart failure can be treated, but it’s essential to know more on the symptoms of heart failure so you can prevent and treat it.
Update Your Recipes
If you’re concerned about heart health and want to start a heart-healthy diet meal plan, it’s time to change up your fridge and pantry. The American Heart Association has an extensive collection of quick, healthy, and delicious heart-healthy recipes. You can adapt them to your specific dietary needs or requirements.
Add more fruits and vegetables to your fridge, and fill your pantry with whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and steel-cut oatmeal. Replace shortening and butter with olive oil for cooking.
Your Heart is Counting On You
A heart-healthy diet has a lot of benefits. It can help you lose weight, lower your blood pressure, and reduce your risk of heart attack or heart failure. You can follow a prescribed diet like DASH or the Mediterranean Diet, or you can make changes to your usual meals with heart-healthy recipes.
Stay away from trans fats, fast foods, and processed snacks like cookies and ice cream. They can contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease over a period of time. And get some regular exercise like walking or biking three to five days per week.
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