Going on a Heart-Healthy Diet is your first step in reducing your risk of coronary heart disease. While it may sound like that you may have to give up a lot of what you eat already, you will find that it is not the case. If you want to go on the Heart Healthy Diet, you may want to talk to your doctor to find out exactly what you would need to do. But to get you started, here are the foods that you can enjoy when you go on a Heart-Healthy Diet.
1. Fruits and Vegetables
Having more fruits and vegetables in your diet is a no brainer. Since the dawn of man, we were always meant to eat fruits and vegetables to survive. All the other foods that we consume today either never existed (like candy bars) or were not needed until there was a shortage of food (like meat). Fruits and vegetables have all the necessary nutrients that help prevent heart disease and it contains very little fat or none at all.
The best of these foods are those that are dark green, bright yellow, or deep orange. You want to have at least five servings a day. The best way to eat fruit and vegetables is to prepare them as snacks. Bananas and apples are very easy to have around and do not create too much of a mess when you eat them. You can also buy pre-washed baby carrots, pack them in zip lock bags, and take it to work to munch on.
2. High Fiber Foods
There is some evidence that eating foods high in fiber may reduce your cholesterol, which is one of the causes of heart disease. High fiber foods are packed with essential nutrients and are essential for a good digestive system as well. Foods high in fiber include oatmeal, whole-grain cereal, brown rice, apples, and broccoli. If you eat a lot of fruits already, you are probably getting plenty of fiber in your diet. But you can still add to it by replacing white bread with whole-grain bread for sandwiches or have cereal and oatmeal topped with fruit for breakfast.
3. Low Fat and Healthy Fat Foods
Eating foods that are high in saturated fats is a major cause of coronary heart disease. If any of the foods you enjoy are high in fats, you can still enjoy them in reduced-fat form. You can reduce the amount of fat in meats by removing the fat on beef or pork or removing the skin from chicken or duck. If you like burgers, choose extra-lean ground beef instead of regular.
You can also use tofu in your dishes instead of meat or use it to lower the amount of meat you use in your dish. The soybean content in tofu is very good for your heart. If you enjoy milk, be sure to drink 1% low fat or skim milk, which has no fat.
It is also recommended that you have at least two servings of fish each week. Fatty fish like salmon and herring are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have shown to reduce the risk of a heart attack. If you don’t care too much for fish, you can still get omega-3 fatty acids from nuts and flaxseed, though in lesser amounts.
As you can see, the foods that you will need to eat for your Heart Healthy Diet is not bad at all. While it may require you to make some adjustments, it does not require you to give up a lot of what you currently enjoy. Remember to eat food in moderation and to consult with your doctor or dietitian to see what foods are best for you.