Tip #1 – Limit Trans and Saturated Fats
One of the best heart healthy diet tips to remember is to limit trans and saturated fats. In fact, eliminating them if possible is a great idea. Both of these fats raise bad cholesterol, raising your risk of heart disease. Limit any solid fats in your diet like margarine, shortening, and butter. Read labels when purchasing food to ensure they don’t have high amounts of saturated fats. Learn to substitute when cooking, using low fat options or liquid oils to limit fats.
Tip #2 – Add Healthy Fats to Your Diet
Of course, while it is important to limit the fats that are bad to you, not all fats should be removed from your diet. Unsaturated fats are healthy fats that your body needs and they can actually help to lower bad cholesterol levels. Healthy fats to add to your healthy heart diet include monounsaturated fats, Omega 3s, and Omega 6s. Monounsaturated fats include cashews, pecans, almonds, and peanuts. Omega 6s are found in foods like soy nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils. You can get plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids from canola oil, salmon, tuna, other fatty fish, or some walnuts.
Tip #3 – Increase Whole Grains
Another good heart healthy diet tip is to increase the whole grains in your diet instead of eating as many refined grains. Whole grains have more fiber in them, which can help to keep your blood pressure down. Studies have shown that eating 2-3 servings of whole grains on a daily basis can lower your risk of heart disease by more than 20%.
Heart Healthy Diet Tips
Control Emotional Eating
Tip #4 – Control emotional eating
HeartMath has a wonderful Stress and Weight Management Program that focuses on what you feel instead of what you eat.
Tip #5 – Get Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
A heart healthy diet is one that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and veggies are low in calories and they provide important vitamins, minerals, and fiber that your body really needs. When you eat more fruits and veggies, you’ll feel fuller and will end up eating less, which can be excellent for encouraging weight loss.
Tip #6 – Eat Lean Protein
You need to make sure that you are consuming lean protein as well. Egg substitutes, fish, chicken, and dairy that is low fat are all good sources of protein. Fish is an excellent choice because it not only provides you with lean protein but it also has important Omega 3s that can help to lower your levels of triglycerides. Lean protein is not just found in meat. You can find it in beans, lentils, and other types of legumes as well.
Tip #7 – Reduce Intake of Salt
Reducing your intake of salt is important to a healthy heart diet. Taking in too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, one of the big risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Start cutting back on the amount of salt you take in each day. Don’t just consider the salt you put on food, but read labels. Many foods are a hidden source of salt, so you need to carefully look at labels before choosing your foods.
Tip #8 – Control Portion Size
Probably one of the best heart healthy diet tips to help prevent heart disease is to control your portion sizes. One of the best ways that you can lower you risk of heart disease is to reduce your weight if you are overweight. An easy way to do this is by controlling the portion sizes that you eat. Learn to read labels to find out portion sizes or research to find out what proper serving sizes are. More than likely you are eating more of everything than you need to. Even eating too much of healthy foods can be a bad thing.
Eating a heart healthy diet is definitely an important part of lowering your risk for heart disease. Follow these diet tips and use them with other methods of reducing risk, like meditation, and nutritional supplements.