disease is the number one health threat for women. That’s
why a heart healthy diet is recommended for everybody. But some
women have special circumstances that make the importance of a
diet even more imminent. If your healthcare provider has discussed
heart healthy eating with you, if you have high blood pressure,
if you have had a heart attack or heart disease runs in your family,
you should always eat with your heart in mind.
A heart healthy diet
is based on limiting saturated and trans fat and sodium, including
abundant plant foods, and ensuring adequate
intake of healthy fats. The major sources of saturated fat in the
American diet are beef, butter, cheese, milk and some oils. A diet
high in saturated fat raises your blood cholesterol levels and
increases the risk of coronary artery disease. Trans fats are created
by hydrogenating fats. Most processed foods contain trans fat.
These unhealthy fats significantly increase the risk of heart disease.
One fat you should get more of, however, is the omega-3 fatty acids.
This is a polyunsaturated fat that has been linked with numerous
heart benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids can decrease triglycerides,
HDLs, make platelets less sticky, and help fight inflammation.
The major source of omega-3 fatty acids is fish, but you can also
the nutrient in walnuts, flaxseed oil and canola oil.
- If you want to maintain a heart healthy diet, you’ll
need to get plenty of fruits and vegetables every day. The
and minerals you get from eating fruits and vegetables are
extremely helpful in preventing heart disease.
- Antioxidants are a key ingredient
in the heart healthy diet. Antioxidants include vitamins C
and E, and have been linked with the prevention
of artery damage from cholesterol. Load up on broccoli, tomatoes,
oranges and strawberries and cereals and products fortified with antioxidants
to get an extra dose.
- Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are great
sources of both insoluble and soluble fiber, a major help in
the fight against heart disease.
Fiber cleans out your digestive system and also may help lower
blood pressure and bad cholesterol (LDL) levels.
- As part of a heart healthy
diet, you’ll need to incorporate
exercise and keep a healthy weight. Overweight and obesity
are major contributing factors to heart disease. Talk to your
about heart healthy ways to lose weight and keep it off.
is another cause of heart disease. Even if you limit your saturated
fats and focus on a healthy diet, you’re still
at a high risk if you continue to smoke.
Click below to read about related topics.
Heart Healthy Eating
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