Maintain A Heart-Healthy Diet This American Heart Month
We all tend to go overboard with junk food during the holidays. This February, show a little love to your heart with this heart-healthy diet.
This heart-healthy diet is something we should all try and follow.
Your diet and lifestyle greatly affect your heart health. American Heart Month is a great time to consider a heart-healthy diet, no matter your fitness level. According to the American Heart and Stroke Foundation, 80% of premature heart disease and stroke can be prevented through adopting healthy lifestyle habits. That’s a huge statistic that can seem kind of scary, but it also gives us the opportunity to change our habits and to live a heart-healthy lifestyle, allowing us to live longer and happier lives!
These are the best tips on how to maintain a heart-healthy diet and show a little TLC to the organ that literally keeps you going all day long.
Limit consumption of processed foods
Processed foods essentially have the nutritional elements removed, and sugar, salt, and chemicals added to them.
Limit consumption of sugar
While the natural sugars from fruits and vegetables are okay for heart health, the added sugars in processed foods, sweetened drinks, candy, and desserts are not! Consuming too much sugar leads to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and many other health issues.
Say no to sodium
Consuming too much sodium leads to high blood pressure, which puts great stress on our hearts! Cut down as much as possible on processed foods, fast food, lunch meats, salad dressings, sauces, condiments, and salty snack foods to maintain heart health.
Eat healthy fats
Foods like olive oil, avocados, almonds, cashews, salmon, eggs, and flaxseed can reduce cholesterol levels and keep your heart going strong.
Cook at home
Fast food and restaurant food is typically very processed, which means that they consist of too much sugar, too much salt, and too much fat - all of which are hard on our hearts. When we cook at home, we can make sure that we’re consuming whole, healthy foods with limited processing.
Shop the perimeter of the grocery store
The perimeter of the grocery store is typically where all of the good heart-healthy foods live! Keeping lots of fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods stocked in the pantry will make sure you’re only eating only the best foods for your heart.
Try the DASH diet
If you need a little more structure to make heart-healthy choices, try the DASH diet. The DASH diet consists of eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat foods, lean meats, nuts, seeds, beans, and healthy fats and oils. Research has consistently shown that the DASH diet is able to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol levels within 2 weeks!
Follow these heart-healthy diet tips to live a longer, healthier life!