5 Steps to Heart Health
Experts are recognizing the fact that heart disease is much more preventable than we used to think. Our diet and lifestyle choices empower us to main our heart health. Genetic inheritance is a weak factor in contributing to developing or preventing these kind of diseases. So the responsibility falls entirely on us. Let’s take action, and defeat this disease that, as of right now, is the number one cause of death in high income countries across the world according to the World Health Organization.
Together with exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep, controlling your stress, and drinking enough water, following these 5 Steps to Heart Heath in your diet constitute a good plan on how to take control of your heart health.
Submitted by Mitzi Dulan on Feb 15, 2012
February has been designated as American Heart Month. Currently, one out of every three deaths in the United States is due to heart disease or stroke. Cardiovascular disease is also one of the most expensive diseases that cost the U.S. 444 billion dollars in health care just in 2010 alone. The government has started a program called Million Hearts™. The goal of the program is to prevent 1 million heart attack and strokes in the U.S. over the next five years by adding more prevention programs and activities. Read below for 5 tips to include in your diet to help prevent heart disease:
1. Limit your intake of unhealthy fats and cholesterol.
Limit the amount of saturated and trans fats in your diet such as butter, hydrogenated margarine and shortening, cream sauce, and coconut, palm, cottonseed, and palm-kernel oils. A few good fats to add to your diet are olive oil, canola oil, and cholesterol lowering margarine.
Look for “cold pressed” virgin oils. And have zero tolerance for those trans fats. They do no good, and a lot of harm to your health. The way to know if a certain food has trans fats is not by looking at the front label, that is all advertising. The real information is on the ingredients panel. Look for “partially hydrogenated oils” those are the trans fats, and stay away from them.
2. Eat low-fat protein sources.
Remember animal products are not the only source of protein available to us. We can find protein in much healthier foods, such as legumes and nuts. In fact, green vegetables contain all the amino acids that make up proteins, so they serve as a source for them too.
3. Eat your fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins, minerals, and substances that may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Vegetables with creamy sauces, fried or breaded vegetables, and canned fruit in heavy syrup should be avoided. Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables are healthy, ideal sources to add to your diet.
4. Reduce the amount of sodium in your food.
High amounts of sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which is one of the main risk factors of cardiovascular disease. Try to avoid adding table salt to your meal and limit the amount of prepared foods, such as frozen dinners. Choose reduced-sodium soups, prepared meals, and condiments.
5. Choose whole grains.
Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber and can also help regulate blood pressure. The main grain products to avoid are white, refined flour products, doughnuts, cakes, and high-fat snack crackers. Excellent sources of whole grains include whole-wheat flour, whole-grain pasta, ground flaxseed, and high-fiber cereals.
With years of unhealthy eating, and toxin accumulation, we lose the natural elasticity of our arteries. But our bodies are always changing and re-creating themselves at a cellular level, so changes we make in our diet and lifestyle today will reflect in our health tomorrow. It is never too late to start. Heart disease is easier to prevent, but it can also be reversed with the right measures.
February is valentines month too, love your heart and protect it, so it stays strong and healthy for years to come.