Joven mujer haciendo sus manos en forma de corazón, seguro de salud del corazón, responsabilidad social, donación concepto de caridad

It’s clear as crystal – your daily diet has a profound impact on your physical and psychological wellbeing. When combined with a normal physical exercise regimen, sufficient sleep and minimal-stress lifestyle, you pave way towards a healthy and long life!

Concerning cardiovascular health

It’s a well-known actuality that a healthful diet comprising of specific heart-friendly foods work wonders to keep heart ailments at bay. With cardiovascular disorders being the numero uno killer of women and men globally, it’s necessary to keep a healthy heart by consuming foods that help lower cholesterol levels, control blood pressure and blood glucose levels and keep a healthy body weight. Here are a couple of heart-healthy tips that work towards preventing heart diseases.

Control your portion size

Eating right starts with eating the ideal size! Stuffing yourself with food is a sure way to add unwanted calories. Try using a small plate to control your portion size. Incorporate larger portions of produce, while reducing the parts of processed foods. It’s an excellent idea to track the amount of parts or servings that you have. For starters, use a measuring cup, spoon or scale to monitor the size and weight of your portions.

Reduce unhealthy fats

Saturated and trans fats raise the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol – Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) – on your body, thereby increasing the chance of cardiovascular diseases. Work towards restricting or completely cutting out trans fats out of your diet. Limit your consumption of packaged or processed foods such as chips and cookies. Replace solid fats like butter and hydrogenated margarine with liquid vegetable oils like olive oil or jojoba oil. You could even swap whole milk with low fat or skimmed milk.

Incorporate healthy fats

Not all fats are bad for you! Omega 3 fatty acids, Omega 6 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats work towards raising HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol levels that are beneficial for the heart. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, trout and herring are rich sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. Vegetable oils and soy nuts are fantastic sources of Omega 6 fatty acids, while peanuts, pecans, almonds, cashews and avocados are good sources of monounsaturated fats. A simple way to incorporate healthy fat to your diet is to grind flaxseed and add it to cereals, breakfast mixes or some other foods that are baked. However, the key is moderation; all kinds of fats have a high calorie count.

Consume low-fat proteins

Lean meats like fish and poultry, eggs and low-fat dairy products such as skimmed milk are excellent sources of low carb protein. As mentioned before, fatty fish like salmon, herring and mackerel are rich sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. Alternatively, you can eat flaxseed, canola oil, walnuts and soybeans for vegetarian sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. You can completely substitute animal protein for plant protein by using legumes like beans, peas and lentils. These are great sources of protein, contain less fat and no cholesterol.

Indulge in fruits and veggies

Besides being super-rich sources of dietary fiber, minerals and vitamins, fruits and vegetables are low on calories and might suppress your pangs for high fat foods like processed foods and snacks. Always keep a bowl of fruit or a box of cut vegetables handy in the fridge for some wholesome snacking, or to whip up a fresh salad! Incorporate vegetables, particularly leafy vegetables, into your own cooking. Add legumes such as beans, lentils and legumes to your diet. Carrots, tomatoes and celery are rich in insoluble fibre while berries, citrus fruits, beans, nuts, apple and pear are rich in soluble fibre. Both kinds of fiber are heart-healthy.

Be a fan of whole grains!

Whole grains are rich sources of fiber and other vital nutrients that assist with regulating blood pressure, thereby keeping a healthy heart. Substitute white rice and refined flour products like white bread, biscuits etc with whole wheat flour, whole grain bread, oatmeal, high-fibre cereals, and whole grains like brown rice.

Reduce your sodium intake

High sodium levels can improve your blood pressure, thereby increasing the chance of cardiovascular diseases. Limit your sodium intake by decreasing the amount of salt and salty foods in your daily diet. Avoid foods and condiments with higher sodium content like table salt, canned soups and meals, soy sauce and tomato juice. Replace them with spices and herbs, very low sodium labelled foods and sauces and salt substitutes.