Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women. That’s why it’s vital to manage risk and take preventative measures to ensure your heart health now before the worse should happen. Fortunately, most cases of heart disease are due to lifestyle choices. That means managing this portion of your risk level is completely within your control. Changing your diet now will help control your weight, reduce your cholesterol, and lead a heart-healthy life. Check-in with your HealthLynked provider to cultivate a meal plan that’s right for you. In the meantime, here are the basics.
Say Goodbye to Fats
Saturated and trans-fat are a one-way ticket to a heart attack. Read more about how it affects your cholesterol [here]. These types of fat eliminate the good cholesterol from your body and raise the bad cholesterol. Stay away from fatty meats, dairy products made from whole milk, cheese, and butter.
Don’t Get Salty
Sodium increases water retention and raises blood pressure. High blood pressure, in turn, puts a greater strain on the heart and contributes to the plaque buildup that causes a heart attack. It’s not enough to simply remove the saltshaker from the dining room table. You should start reading the labels of your grocery store purchases to make sure you’re not consuming more salt than you think. As it is, try to limit yourself to about a teaspoon a day in your food.
Love Your Fiber
Fiber is a wonder food that increases good cholesterol and decreases bad cholesterol while promoting weight loss (fiber helps you feel fuller on fewer calories). Start finding new favorites in oats, wheat, rye, rice, and other whole grains. You can also explore vegetables and certain fruits like pears for high fiber content.
Heart Healthy Proteins
So how should you get your daily allowance of proteins if not from meat? To be clear, you can still eat meat on a heart-healthy diet, it just shouldn’t have trans or saturated fats in it. No matter what their marketing says, stay away from lunchmeat, bacon, steak, hamburger, lamb, and pork. Instead, find new recipes for fish, skinless poultry, and trimmed meats.