Heart disease is a huge killer around the world, but especially in the United States. A culture of excess has resulted in many easily avoidable life-threatening health issues among citizens, but it’s easier than you think to design your own personal heart-healthy eating habits.
Healthy does not equal boring, limited, or gross. The trick is to educate yourself on as many healthy food options as possible to keep your diet interesting. Here are a few foods that are both heart healthy and delicious.
It’s really somewhat difficult to go wrong eating berries of any sort, but blueberries are especially heart healthy. Berries and even wine (in moderation) are good for your heart due to their provision of antioxidant anthocyanins.
Blueberries have some of the highest concentrations of anthocyanins, placing them in the spotlight for heart-healthy snacks. Some studies have proven that blueberries can lower your LDL cholesterol and reduce inflammation in the body.
Oatmeal is good for the reduction of cholesterol, but it is also rich in soluble fiber. Soluble fiber has been studied and found to naturally bind to cholesterol, keeping it out of the blood stream.
It is recommended by the Food and Drug Administration that you eat at least 3 grams of soluble fiber each day to reap the maximum benefits for your heart. Average participants in studies nearly always saw results in lowering their LDL (or bad) cholesterol levels.
Apples are especially rich in antioxidant flavonoids which are known protectors of the heart. The skin of an apple is the most healthy part, as it is high in quercetin and anthocyanins.
The old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” is full of truth. Don’t skip out on apples in your diet, and they’re healthy as dried chips too.
Nuts in all shapes and sizes are healthy. Most offer a significant source of fiber, protein, unsaturated fats (the “good” fats), an array of minerals, and antioxidants. Nuts are an excellent snack food for those quick eating opportunities throughout the day.
It’s pretty common knowledge that leafy greens are good for your healthy, but Kale, in particular, is super healthy. Kale packs high doses of magnesium and potassium. Magnesium and potassium are both great for regulating blood pressure and heart health.
Avoid these stains in your diet:
There are some dietary choices you should avoid if you’re aiming for a heart healthy lifestyle.
Trans fats: deep-fried foods, fast foods, snack foods
Packaged foods: high-sodium box dinners, sugary breakfast foods
Flour-based foods: white pasta, white or egg breads, sugary cereals
Processed meats: sausage, bacon, fried chicken, salami
Yogurts: Yogurts with added sugars, processed cheeses