The best way to prevent heart disease is to reduce the risk of developing it through a healthy lifestyle. For those looking to start a heart-healthy diet, here are 6 eating tips to prevent heart disease.
Control the amount of food
What you eat is important, but how much you eat is also important. Eating too much or eating too quickly can cause you to consume more calories than you need. Using a small plate or bowl can help you control how much you eat. Eat more low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and avoid high-calorie, high-sodium foods, such as processed and fast foods.
Increase the intake of vegetables and fruits
Get enough vitamins and minerals from vegetables and fruits. It is low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. Like other plant foods, vegetables and fruits contain ingredients that can help prevent cardiovascular disease.
Increasing your fruit and vegetable intake can help cut down on high-calorie foods like meat, cheese, and snacks. It is easier to eat by cutting the vegetables in advance and preparing them as snacks or by placing the fruits in a bowl and in a conspicuous place.
Eat whole grains instead of refined grains
Whole grains are rich in fiber, as well as other nutrients that regulate blood pressure and play an important role in heart health. Eat whole grains instead of refined grains at meals. Examples of whole grain foods that are good for the body include whole wheat flour, whole wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal. Examples of grain foods to avoid include refined flour, white bread made from wheat flour, pasta, donuts, cakes, and sweets.
Avoid eating unhealthy fats
Consuming high amounts of saturated or trans fats increases cholesterol levels and the risk of coronary artery disease. High blood cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque in the arteries, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. The American Heart Association recommends that you limit your intake of saturated fat to less than 5% to 6% of your total daily calories and limit your intake of trans fats.
Eat a low-fat, high-protein diet
Get healthy protein from lean meats, poultry, fish, low-fat dairy products, and eggs. However, try to choose options with a lower fat content, such as non-fat milk rather than regular milk and chicken breast instead of fried chicken. Instead of fatty meats, eat fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel, and herring.
Beans are also one of the foods that are high in protein and low in fat. It does not contain cholesterol, so it is a good substitute for meat. Eating plant protein instead of animal protein can reduce fat and cholesterol intake and increase fiber intake.
Reduce sodium intake
High sodium intake puts you at risk of developing high blood pressure, one of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. According to the American Heart Association, it is ideal for adults to consume no more than 1500 mg of sodium per day.
It is good to reduce the amount of salt added directly to food or to cook, but in fact, most of the salt we eat comes from canned food or processed foods. Therefore, you can reduce your salt intake by eating fresh foods or making your own.
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