Having elevated levels of cholesterol puts you at great risk of heart disease and stroke. If you think your heart is at risk of these life-threatening conditions, you need to learn how to choose and eat a heart healthy diet to lower down your risk and continue living a healthy life until you aged.
Below are some handy ideas that you can use to help you heart achieve the ultimate protection it deserves.
Bulk up on fiber
Eating fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains is among the top strategies you can do to fight heart disease. Bulking up on fiber and constantly eating them everyday can significantly reduce your bad cholesterol levels.
You could incorporate for about 3-4 servings of fruits and vegetables each day and aim for at least 2-3 servings of whole grains and nuts per week.
Don’t skip meals
People who tend to skip breakfast or any important meal of the day thinks that they will lose weight but the truth is, it will only yield to overeating. Overeating will only result to high caloric and high fat food consumption which is a big no-no for your heart.
Instead of feeling guilty of skipping meals and overeating, you can instead practice a good eating habit. Try to follow eating small frequent meals each day which comprises for about 5-6 mini meals full of nutritious foods. This will make your stomach feel full which decreases your cravings.
Introduce yourself to omega 3
Omega 3 fatty acids are known as good fat and bring a lot of benefits to your heart and overall health. Food sources that are rich in omega 3 are mainly found from cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, and mackerel. With that being said, including fish in your daily meal plan can help boost your good cholesterol.
Avoid processed and fatty foods
Fast foods are yummy and convenient for busy people who haven’t got the time to cook their own meals at home. Although they seem and taste delicious, they are full of preservatives, fat and even sodium. As much as possible, if you want to prevent having future heart attacks and stroke, you need to avoid eating processed foods.
Instead, make time to prepare your own meal and incorporate all nutritious foods on it. Preparing and cooking your own food will give you an idea on how much fat and calorie you’re taking in. Plus, you wouldn’t have to worry whether your food is well sanitized and safe for eating.
Eating snacks are a part of maintaining a balanced and healthy diet, only if they do not add to the empty calories. It is important to put some thoughts in what kind of snacks you are consuming, like any other part of your diet; otherwise you are bound to pick on something which is high on calorie, fat or sugar.
It’s a bad idea to keep yourself too hungry, because when you snack or eat, there is a tendency that encourages overeating. Drinking plenty of water, nearly 10 glasses in a day, will not only keep you hydrated, but will also keep you feeling less hungry. You can also include protein while snacking, as this helps in keeping you feeling fuller for a longer period of time.
Listed below are some different types of snacking. There is a big possibility that you are hungry for different types of snacks at different times on different days. Choose whatever sounds best to you, whatever is available and what is the best suitable in you eating strategy.
* Flavored popcorn or rice cakes
* Pretzels (with or without some honey mustard dip)
* Light microwave popcorn
* Baked tortilla chips with salsa
* An apple (with or without some caramel dipping sauce)
* Sliced strawberries with fat-free half and half
* Raw veggies (try a dip with ranch seasoning and fat-free sour cream)
* Frozen grapes
* String cheese
* Light yogurt
* Chocolate milk (made with low fat milk)
* Cottage cheese with canned pineapple
* Banana-chocolate whip
In a blender, combine 1 cup fat-free milk, 1 small banana, and a squeeze of chocolate syrup.
* Orange whip
In a blender, combine, 1 cup orange juice, 1 carton orange nonfat yogurt, and a few ice cubes)
* Light Root Beer Float
Diet root beer with 1 cup low fat ice cream
* Steaming mug of fat-free hot chocolate/cocoa (with added calcium)
* 2 whole wheat fig bars (look for these in the organic food section)
* 3 Hershey’s kisses
* Animal crackers (1/2 small box) and a cup of low fat milk
It is recommend that you keep a list of your favorite and healthy snacks ideas in your purse, or computer or even in refrigerator. Sometimes it gets difficult to get a good snack option. With the list in hand you will not be worried about your shopping.