Modern Heart and Vascular

How Does Your Diet Impact Your Heart Health?

Diet Impact Your Heart Health - Varicose Veins

Diet Impact Your Heart Health

A healthy diet is crucial for good heart health; if you are not having a heart-healthy diet, you are at a greater risk of having coronary heart disease.

Food-related risk factors include high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, obesity, and a diet high in saturated fat.

A diet rich in plant-based foods, high in fiber, and low in saturated fat may substantially reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

Even though you may know that eating certain foods may increase your risk of heart disease, changing your eating habits is often difficult. So, whether you have years of unhealthy eating or want to adjust your diet, here are some tips for a heart-healthy diet.

After you learn which foods to eat more of and which to limit, you will be on your way to a heart-healthy diet.

Are you ready to start your heart-healthy diet? Next, here are some ways to get you started.

Diet Impact Your Heart Health

Monitor Your Serving Size

How much you eat is probably as important as what you eat. Overloading your plate, taking a few seconds, and eating until you feel full may lead to eating more calories than you should. In addition, the amounts of food served in restaurants are often more than anyone needs.

Following some simple tips for controlling food serving size may help you shape your diet, as well as your heart and waistline:

  • Use a small dish or bowl to help manage the amounts.
  • Eat more nutrient-rich and low-calorie foods, such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Intake of smaller quantities of high-sodium foods, high-calorie, such as processed, refined, or fast foods.

It is also noteworthy to keep track of the intake of your serving sizes. Some things to keep in mind:

A serving is a certain amount of food, defined by common measurements such as cups, ounces, or pieces.

The suggested serving size per food type may differ according to your diet or guidelines.

Judging serving size is a skill you learn. You may have to use measuring cups and spoons or a scale until you get used to measurements.

Diet Impact Your Heart Health

More Fruits And Vegetables In Your Diet

Fruits and vegetables are great providers of minerals and vitamins. Fruits and vegetables are also low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. As a result, fruits and vegetables have nutrients that may contribute to preventing heart disease.

Consuming more fruits and vegetables may help you reduce your intake of high-calorie foods, such as meat, cheese, and snack foods.

Adding fruits and vegetables to your meal plan can be easy. Keep washed and cut vegetables in the kitchen for quick snacks and fruit in a bowl, so you remember to eat them.

Select Whole Grains For Your Diet

Whole grains are great providers of fiber and other nutrients that play a role in blood pressure regulation and heart health. You may increase the number of whole grains in a heart-healthy diet by making simple substitutions for refined grain products. You can also try new grains like whole grain, farro, barley, or quinoa.

–CHOICE OF GRAIN PRODUCTS

  • Whole wheat bread
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Wheat bread
  • Whole grains like buckwheat, brown rice, and barley
  • High-fiber cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Whole-grain pasta

–GRAINS TO RESTRICT

  • White bread
  • Refined flour
  • Muffins
  • Frozen waffles
  • Doughnuts
  • Cornbread
  • Biscuits
  • Pies
  • Cakes
  • Buttered popcorn
  • Egg noodles
  • High-fat crackers

Diet Impact Your Heart Health

Restrict Unhealthy Fats

Restricting the amount of saturated and trans fats you consume is crucial in lowering blood cholesterol and the chances of coronary artery disease. High blood cholesterol may lead to plaque buildup in the arteries (atherosclerosis), increasing the risk of stroke and heart attack.

The American Heart Association recommends how much fat you should include in a heart-healthy diet.

For example, less than six percent of total daily calories of saturated fat; if you consume two thousand calories daily, that is about eleven to thirteen grams. On the other hand, you should avoid trans-fat.

–CHOICE OF FATS

  • Canola oil
  • Olive oil
  • Margarine, trans-fat-free
  • Vegetable and nut oils
  • Cholesterol-lowering margarine
  • Nuts, seeds
  • Avocados

–FATS TO RESTRICT

  • Lard
  • Butter
  • Bacon fat
  • Cream sauce
  • Gravy
  • Hydrogenated shortening and margarine
  • Nondairy creamers
  • Palm, coconut, cottonseed, and palm kernel oils

When using fats, you should choose mono-unsaturated fats such as olive oil or canola oil. In addition, you can find poly-unsaturated fats in certain fish, avocados, nuts, and seeds, which are also good choices for a heart-healthy diet.

Mono and poly-unsaturated fats may help lower total blood cholesterol when used instead of saturated fats. But moderation is essential since all types of fat are high in calories.

Ground flaxseed is an effective way to add healthy fats and fiber to your diet. Flaxseeds are tiny brown seeds high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, studies show that flaxseed lowers unhealthy cholesterol levels in some individuals.

Diet Impact Your Heart Health

Select Low-fat Protein Products

Lean meat, fish and poultry, eggs, and low-fat dairy products, are some of the best protein providers. Select low-fat options, such as skinless chicken breasts instead of fried chicken patties and skim instead of whole milk.

Fish is an excellent replacement for high-fat meats. Certain fish species are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may reduce triglycerides (blood fats). You will get the highest omega-3 fatty acids in cold-water fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and herring. Other sources include walnuts, soybeans, flaxseed, and canola oil.

Beans, peas, and lentils (legumes) are also excellent providers of low-fat protein and do not contain cholesterol, making them suitable substitutes for meat. Likewise, eating vegetable protein (soy or bean) instead of animal protein will reduce fat and cholesterol and increase fiber intake.

–CHOICE OF PROTEIN

  • Eggs
  • Low-fat dairy
  • Skinless poultry
  • Certain fish species, especially fatty, cold-water (salmon)
  • Legumes
  • Lean ground meat
  • Soybeans
  • Soy products such as tofu

–PROTEIN TO RESTRICT

  • Organ meats like liver
  • Full-fat milk and other dairy products
  • Spareribs
  • Fatty and marbled meats
  • Fried or breaded meats
  • Bacon
  • Hot dogs and sausages

RESTRICT OR LOWER SODIUM (SALT) CONSUMPTION

Overconsuming salt may contribute to high blood pressure, a risk factor for coronary heart disease. Therefore, limiting sodium (salt) is a crucial part of a heart-healthy diet. The American Heart Association suggests that healthy adults consume no more than two thousand three hundred milligrams of sodium daily (about one teaspoon of salt).

Ideally, adults consume no more than a thousand and five hundred mg of sodium daily. However, decreasing the amount of salt you use at the table or while cooking is a good start because much of your salt intake comes from canned or processed foods, such as frozen dinners, soups, and baked goods.

Consuming fresh foods and cooking your stews and soups may reduce salt consumption.

If you like the convenience of ready-canned and prepared foods, try getting those with no salt added or low in sodium. However, beware of foods that claim to have less sodium because they have sea salt instead of regular table salt, and sea salt has the same nutritional value as standard.

Another way to lower your salt intake is to choose seasonings carefully. There are many seasonings in reduced-sodium versions. There are also salt substitutes that may add flavor to your meals with less sodium.

–CHOICE OF LOW-SALT PRODUCTS

  • Salt-free seasonings
  • Herbs and spices
  • Prepared meals or canned soups with no salt added or reduced in salt
  • Versions of reduced-salt condiments (reduced-salt ketchup or soy sauce)

Diet Impact Your Heart Health DietImpact

Planification Of Daily Menus For Your Meals

Create daily meal plans using the listed above strategies. When choosing food for each meal and snack, emphasize fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Select lean protein providers and healthy fats, and limit salty food. Control your serving sizes and add variety to your menu choices.

For example, if you consume grilled salmon one night, try eating a black bean burger the next night. This balance will help ensure you get all the nutrients your body requires. Variety also makes meals and snacks more appealing.

Diet Impact Your Heart Health

Treat Yourself Once In A While

Indulge yourself a treat occasionally. A chocolate bar or a handful of potato chips will not ruin your heart-healthy diet. Nevertheless, do not let it become an excuse to quit your heart-healthy eating regime. If overindulgence is the exception rather than the rule, it will balance things out in the long run.

The key is that you eat healthy food most of the time.

Try including these tips in your life, and you will find that heart-healthy eating is feasible and enjoyable. In addition, planning and a few simple substitutions may make you eat thinking about your heart.

At Modern Heart and Vascular, we are committed to placing our patients first and providing all the answers to your questions about heart health and heart conditions. We accept most major insurance companies, including Medicare. Call us today to schedule your next appointment.

We are Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, a diagnostic and preventative medicine cardiology practice. For more information, contact us.

Every heart has a story… What’s yours?

Diet Impact

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Modern Heart and Vascular, a preventive cardiology medical practice, has several offices around Houston. We have locations in Humble, Cleveland, The Woodlands, Katy, and Livingston.

We are Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, a diagnostic and preventative medicine cardiology practice.

Every heart has a story… What’s yours?

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At the Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, we offer state-of-the-art cardiovascular care with innovative diagnostic tools and compassionate patient care. Our priority at Modern Heart and Vascular Institute is prevention. We help patients lead healthier lives by avoiding unnecessary procedures and surgeries.

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This article does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need cardiovascular care, please call us at 832-644-8930.

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