- Limit your portion sizes.
Both what you eat and how much of it matter. Eating until you're full, filling up in seconds, and overfilling your plate might consume more calories than is healthy. Restaurant portions are frequently more significant than anyone needs.
You may improve the health of your heart and waistline as well as your nutrition by following a few easy recommendations for portion control:
- To help you regulate your servings, use a tiny plate or dish.
- Consume more nutrient-rich, low-calorie foods like fruits and vegetables.
- Consume high-calorie, high-sodium items in moderation, such as processed, refined, or fast food.
Also, it's critical to monitor your serving sizes.
- Consume more fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables are excellent providers of vitamins and minerals. Fruits and vegetables are high in dietary fiber and low in calories.
Vegetables and fruits include compounds that may help prevent cardiovascular disease, just as other plants or plant-based diets. Eating more fruits and vegetables may reduce your consumption of high-calorie meals like meat, cheese, and snack foods.
Fruits and vegetables to eat
- Fruits and vegetables, whether fresh or frozen
- Canned vegetables low in sodium
- Canned fruit in a juice or water mixture
Fruits and vegetables to limit
- Veggies in rich sauces
- Batter-fried or fried veggies
- Fruit in cans packed with thick syrup
- Frozen fruit that has been sweetened
- Select whole grains
Fiber and other nutrients that control blood pressure and heart health can be found in whole grains. Adopting straightforward substitutes for refined grain products may boost the proportion of whole grains in a heart-healthy diet.
Grain products to eat
- Whole-wheat flour
- Whole-grain bread, preferably made entirely of whole grains or whole wheat.
- Cereal high in fiber with 5 g or more per serving
- Whole grains like buckwheat, barley, and brown rice (kasha)
- Whole-grain pasta
- Oatmeal (steel-cut or regular)
Grain products to limit or avoid
- White, refined flour
- White bread
- Frozen waffles
- Quick bread
- Egg noodles
- Buttered popcorn
- High-fat snack crackers
- Limit unhealthy fats
One of the most important steps to lowering your blood cholesterol and lowering your risk of coronary heart disease is to limit the amount of saturated and trans fats you consume.
Atherosclerosis, or plaque formation in the arteries due to elevated blood cholesterol, can raise the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Fats to consume
- Olive oil
- Canola oil
- Vegetable and nut oils
- Margarine, trans-fat-free
- Margarine that lowers cholesterol, such Smart Balance, Promise Activ, or Benecol
- Nuts, seeds
Fats to limit
- Bacon fat
- Cream sauce
- Nondairy creamers
- Hydrogenated shortening and margarine
- Cocoa butter, found in chocolate
- Coconut, palm, cottonseed, and palm kernel oils
- Choose low-fat protein sources
Some of the most significant protein sources include eggs, low-fat dairy products, lean meat, poultry, and fish. Pick lower-fat options like skim milk instead of whole milk and skinless chicken breasts instead of fried chicken patties.
Proteins to consume
- Dairy items with little to no fat, like skim or low-fat (1%) milk, yogurt, and cheese
- Fish, particularly fatty cold-water species like salmon.
- Skinless poultry
- Soybeans and goods made from them, such as tofu and soy burgers
- Lean ground meats
Proteins to limit or avoid
- Full-fat milk and other dairy products
- Organ meats, such as liver
- Fatty and marbled meats
- Hot dogs and sausages
- Fried or breaded meats
- Limit or reduce salt (sodium)
High blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease, can result from overeating salt. A heart-healthy diet must include a salt limit (sodium). According to the American Heart Association:
- A healthy adult shouldn't consume more sodium than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day (about a teaspoon of salt)
- The ideal sodium intake for most persons is 1,500 mg per day.
Low-salt items to consume
- Herbs and spices
- Salt-free seasoning blends
- Canned soups or prepared foods with either reduced or no salt added
- Reduced-salt versions of condiments like reduced-salt ketchup and soy sauce are available.
High-salt items to limit or avoid
- Table salt
- Frozen dinners and prepared items like canned soups
- Tomato juice
- Condiments like mayonnaise, ketchup, and soy sauce
- Restaurant meals
Even though each of these adjustments is quick and easy to make, they can all contribute to a better lifestyle for your heart and you.