Food Tips for Healthy Heart
Having a slim waist is not the only benefit to eating healthily. One of the most significant benefits of adopting good eating habits is having a healthy heart. Whether you’re looking to redo your diet entirely or make a few tweaks, your heart will work a whole lot better if you follow these food tips:
Keep an Eye on Portion Sizes
Stuffing your plate, having a second serving and eating until you can’t move lead to higher calorie intake. The solution is simple: dish up in a smaller plate or bowl to control the size of your portions. Wherever possible, find out the daily recommended daily servings of a food group and adjust your diet accordingly.
Stock Up on Fruit and Vegetables
There’s an easy way to add more fruit and vegetables into your diet. Wash and cut fruit and keep them in your fridge to snack on when you’re hungry. You can also place a fruit bowl in your kitchen so you can grab fresh produce when you need something to nibble on. With vegetables, go for recipes such as vegetable stir-fry, where veggies are the main attraction. And don’t shy away from being imaginative with your fruit and vegetables. For instance, get creative with your mielies instead of having them with just salt.
Give Whole Grains the Green Light
Unlike whole grains, refined grains such as white rice and white bread undergo a process that strips them of vital vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. Whole grains, on the other hand, have been found to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, improve blood vessel function and keep you full for longer. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy a meal with white rice. Just make it a treat instead of an everyday meal.
Cut Down on Unhealthy Fats
Saturated and trans fats wreak havoc on your cholesterol levels. A high blood cholesterol level increases your risk of developing coronary heart disease by causing atherosclerosis (a buildup of fatty deposits in your arteries). For a heart-healthy diet, saturated fat (commonly found in animal fats) should be replaced with polyunsaturated fats (commonly founds in plant and seed oils). Trans fats should be avoided altogether.
Separate Fact from Fiction
There’s a lot of misinformation floating around the internet. For every blog post that lists the benefits of regular exercise, you’ll find another that parades false information. Before you take any advice, cross-check with other sources to make sure you haven’t had the wool pulled over your eyes.
Follow these tips, and you’ll realise that following a heart-healthy diet is both achievable and enjoyable. All it takes is a bit of planning.