Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the United States for men, women and
across most racial and ethnic groups. About 659,000 people die from heart disease every year.
Food plays one of the most important roles in heart disease. Before I dive into the different types of foods everyone should eat and avoid for heart disease, I will be talking about portion control.
How much you eat is just as important as what you eat. Overloading your plate or having
seconds leads to eating more calories than intended. Avoiding restaurants is important because of their huge serving portions. To help prevent overeating, here are some tips. Use a small plate, eat lower calorie content foods (fruits and vegetables), eat smaller amounts of high calorie dense foods (processed or fast foods) and portion size are very important.
Now to talk about the individual foods. Eating more vegetables and fruits is important because they are a good source of vitamins and minerals.
They are low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. Research has shown that vegetables and fruits contain substances that may help prevent
cardiovascular disease. Because they are also low in calories they will help you lose weight
which is beneficial in managing heart disease.
Whole grains are also important for patients with heart disease because it’s a good source of fiber and other nutrients that help play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health.
There are several types of food to avoid if you have heart disease.
You want to start out by limiting unhealthy fats. The ideal goal is to eat less than 6% of total daily calories from fat. For protein, you want to choose a low-fat protein source like lean meat, poultry and fish. Fish is a good alternative to high-fat meats. Certain types of fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring are rich in Omega-3 fatty acid which helps lower your triglycerides.
The most important change in your diet is to reduce your salt intake. Eating too much salt can lead to hypertension, which is a risk factor for heart disease.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting your salt intake to 2,300 (mg) a day, but ideally it should be less than 1,500mg. Much of the sodium in our diets comes from canned or processed foods. Eating fresh and preparing your own meals dramatically reduces sodium amounts.
This article reviewed by Ms. Deb Dooley.
There’s nothing more important than our good health – that’s our principal capital asset.
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