Healthy Heart Diet – Even if you understand that eating certain foods can increase your risk of heart disease, changing your eating habits can often seem difficult. Once you know what foods to eat and what foods to limit, you’ll be able to adopt a heart-healthy diet more easily. Here are six heart-healthy diet tips.
6 Steps to Prevent Heart Disease
1. Control food portions
How much you eat is just as important as what you eat. Here are some tips that you can apply to limit your portion sizes:
- Use smaller plates or bowls to help control your portions
- Consumption of foods that are low in calories, and rich in nutrients, such as fruits and vegetables
- Reduce consumption of foods that are high in calories, high in salt such as fast food
2. Consume more vegetables and fruit
Vegetables and fruit are good sources of vitamins and minerals. In addition, vegetables and fruit are also low in calories and high in fiber. But there are also some fruits and vegetables that need to be limited, such as coconuts, vegetable dishes with coconut milk or cream, fried vegetables, canned fruit with thick syrup, and frozen fruit with added sugar.
3. Limit consumption of saturated fat
Limiting your consumption of saturated and trans fats is an important step in lowering your blood cholesterol levels and thereby reducing your risk of coronary heart disease. High cholesterol levels can cause plaque buildup in your coronary arteries and increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Some ways to reduce saturated fat and trans fat:
- Remove the edges of the fat on the meat before cooking, or choose the meat with less fat (less than 10%)
- Reduce the use of butter and margarine when cooking or spreading bread
- Use olive, canola, vegetable, and nut oils, and limit your consumption of butter, cream, and coconut oil
4. Choose low-fat protein sources
Low-fat meats, poultry, fish, and eggs are the best sources for your protein intake. Choose low-fat protein sources such as skinless chicken breast instead of fried chicken and skim milk instead of full-cream milk. Fish is a good alternative to protein even though it is high in fat because it contains omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood triglycerides.
5. Reduce the use of salt
Excessive salt consumption can increase the risk of high blood pressure, which is also a risk factor for other heart diseases. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 2,300 mg of salt daily (about 1 teaspoon). While reducing salt in your cooking is a good step, most of the salt you consume comes from processed foods such as canned food, frozen food, and fast food. In addition, be careful when consuming sauces such as soy sauce, ketchup, and mayonnaise because they also contain high sodium.
6. Entertain yourself with a good meal every once in a while
It’s okay to eat the foods you like once in a while. Sweets or a few chips will not interfere with your healthy diet. However, don’t get carried away and make an excuse not to continue with your healthy diet plan. Instead of following a strict regimen and ultimately not being able to stick with it, strike a balance between a fun and healthy diet so you can stick with it for the long term.
Here are some heart-healthy diet tips that you can follow to maintain your health.
1. Portion Control
The amount of food you eat is just as important as what you eat. Leaving the plate filled with food until you feel very full certainly creates excess calorie intake, which can lead to obesity. Especially if your lifestyle includes those who rarely move. Wow, if you have this, you have to be smart to manage your calorie intake.
Want to stay full without excessive calorie intake? You can. Try filling your plate with low-calorie yet nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Remember, the number of servings that need to be consumed, of course, depends on the lifestyle you lead. Everyone has different calorie needs, depending on their health condition too. It’s a good idea to consult an expert before starting a certain diet.
2. Eat More Vegetables and Fruits
This type of food is a good source of vitamins and minerals. Vegetables and fruits are also low in calories and rich in dietary fiber, containing substances that can help prevent cardiovascular disease. Eating more fruits and vegetables can help cut down on high-calorie foods, such as meat, cheese, and sugary snacks. The presentation is easy. Choose recipes that have vegetables or fruit as the main ingredient, such as stir-fried vegetables or fresh fruit mixed into a salad.
3. Choose Unpolished Brown Rice
Apart from being low on the glycemic index, brown rice also has a high fiber content, so it is good for someone who is on a diet program. Brown rice helps control the increase in blood sugar levels because the fiber content is high, so it is good for consumption by heart sufferers. In addition, red rice is rich in selenium, which is beneficial for heart health. Consumption of whole grains such as brown rice helps reduce artery blockage due to plaque buildup. The risk of cardiac conditions like high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease is decreased by this protective activity.
4. Limit Unhealthful Fats
Limiting the consumption of saturated and trans fats in the diet is an important step to reduce blood cholesterol and the risk of coronary artery disease. High cholesterol levels can cause plaque to build up in the arteries, which can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Limit saturated fat levels to no more than 5–6% of daily calorie needs. For example, if your calorie needs are 2000 per day, then your daily calorie intake from saturated fat is recommended to be no more than 120 calories. To find out how much-saturated fat is in each serving, always read the food labels. When using fat as a food processing ingredient, make sure to always use monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats. Even so, consumption of fat, even good fat, must still be limited to maintain calorie intake.
5. Protein As Needed
In general, we need about 10% -35% protein from daily calorie needs. or about 46 grams of protein for adult women and 56 grams for adult men. But you should choose from the right source. Animal and vegetable protein, both are allowed. It’s just that you should choose lean (no fat). You can try skinless chicken, lean beef, fish, eggs (without the yolk), low-fat milk, and skim milk. As for vegetable protein sources, it is recommended to consume such things as soybeans and their processed products, as well as red beans.
6. Limit the Use of Salt
This will help you control your blood pressure. Even though you can limit the use of salt in the food you cook at home, keep an eye on the food you consume in restaurants or packaged snacks.
7. Arrange the Daily Menu
Good planning starts with a good arrangement. This daily menu seeks to control the amount of food eaten. Pay attention to your quantities and make sure your diet includes a variety of foods. Choose lean protein sources and limit foods that are too salty. As a snack, fill it with vegetables, fruit, nuts, or seeds. The daily menu will help ensure that you get all the nutrients your body needs and that the food choices are still enjoyable for you to consume.