It can be quite stressful and traumatic to learn that you are at a high risk for heart disease, heart attack or any other heart related conditions. The best way you can strengthen your heart health now would be to take a deep breath and consider helpful lifestyle changes that you can make. One of the most valuable things you can do is adapt to a heart healthy diet.
Avoiding Cholesterol and Unhealthy Fats
Not all fats are bad for your body; some enable you to have more energy. The fats that you should avoid are trans fats. The American Heart Association recommends that less than 1% of your daily diet should consist of trans fats, and less than 7% should consist of saturated fats.
The AHA also recommends that you limit your daily intake of cholesterol to less than 200 mg per day. Reducing your consumption of these foods reduces the amount of buildup in your arteries, and the risk that you will develop coronary artery disease.
Foods to Include in Your Diet for Optimal Heart Health
Now that you understand what to avoid, you are probably wondering what you can include in your diet. The three best foods for a heart healthy diet are fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Most fresh fruits and vegetables contain high levels of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. The nutrients found in fruits and vegetables are great for boosting your immune system and also preventing many different cardiovascular diseases. This is largely due to the fact that many fruits and vegetables have anti-inflammatory properties.
Lastly, it is important to choose whole grains over products that have highly refined grains, such as white bread. By selecting whole grains, you will benefit from foods that help you regulate your blood pressure, and they also help you feel full and energized between meals. As you choose healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, you will soon find yourself having fewer opportunities to make bad dieting choices.