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You are what you eat!

You are what you eat!

Delicious Cardiac Nutrition

More than one out of every ten Americans have been diagnosed with heart
disease. Choosing the proper nutritious meals helps reduce your risk of
cardiovascular illness, such as coronary artery disease, leading to a heart
attack or stroke.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women, taking
more lives than all other types of cancer combined. A cardiovascular
disease diagnosis can also have an emotional impact, altering your
attitude, outlook, and quality of life. While weight control and regular
exercise are essential for keeping your heart in shape, what you eat might
be just as important. When combined with other healthy lifestyle choices, a
heart-healthy diet can reduce your risk of heart disease or stroke by up to
80 percent.
Because no single meal can miraculously make you healthy, your entire
dietary pattern is more important than specific foods. A heart-healthy diet is
structured on "real," natural food—fresh from the ground, ocean, or farm—
rather than fried, processed food, boxed meals, and sugary snacks.
Whether you want to improve your cardiovascular health, have been
diagnosed with heart disease, or have high cholesterol or high blood
pressure, these heart-healthy food suggestions will help you manage these
problems and minimize your risk of a heart attack.

Limit Bad Fat

This specifically refers to saturated and trans-fat. Saturated fat-containing
foods, such as fatty steak, bacon, sausage, lamb, hog, butter, cheese, and
other dairy products manufactured from whole or 2 percent milk, boost LDL
or harmful cholesterol levels in the blood. In turn, high cholesterol raises
your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Trans fats are both naturally occurring and artificial. However, most trans
fats – also known as trans fatty acids – are found in processed foods andare labeled as partly hydrogenated oils. Fried foods like french fries and
fried chicken, baked goods like doughnuts, cakes, pies, and cookies, as
well as frozen pizza and stick margarine, are prominent causes. Trans fats
raise the bad cholesterol, lower good cholesterol, and increase your risk of
heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
According to the American Heart Association, adults should limit their
saturated fat consumption to five to six percent of their total calories.

Reduce Salt Intake

Excess sodium in the bloodstream can cause water retention in the blood
vessels and raise blood pressure. High blood pressure strains the heart
over time and can contribute to plaque buildup that obstructs blood flow. A
high-sodium diet can also cause bloating, puffiness, and weight gain.
Passing on the saltshaker is a beautiful start, but lowering sodium requires
a little more effort and focus. Check the labels on the items you buy at the
store; the quantity of salt in the product is required by law to be included.
Similarly, when ordering at a restaurant, ask for no more salt. Processed,
prepared, and restaurant foods account for more than 75 percent of sodium
intake. Similarly intimidating: The American Heart Association recommends
no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, which is roughly the size
of a teaspoon of salt.
Nonetheless, the effort is worthwhile. High blood pressure, stroke, heart
failure, osteoporosis, stomach cancer, kidney illness, kidney stones,
enlarged heart, headaches, puffiness, bloating, and weight gain can be
reduced by limiting salt consumption.

Select Low-Fat Dairy

Dairy can be a high source of saturated fat, so choose fat-free or low-fat
dairy products, such as skim or one-percent milk, whenever possible. Other
sensible options are low-fat cheese such as part-skim ricotta, dry-curd
cottage cheese, or natural instead of processed cheese. Dairy fats are
linked to high blood cholesterol, one of the six major risk factors for heart
disease. Eating low-fat dairy is connected to a lower risk of stroke.

Eat Any Produce

Fruits and vegetables are vital components of a heart-healthy diet since
they are low in calories and high in fiber and other nutrients. Although fresh
food tastes the best and adds natural diversity to your diet, canned or
frozen fruits and vegetables can also be just as beneficial.
Frozen fruits are kept at their peak of freshness and can keep their
nutritional content for several months. Still, check the labels for sodium
levels and look for products with no added sugar. Produce that has been
canned in water or its juice is your best bet, and any that has been stored
in a light syrup should be drained and rinsed.

Go for Whole Grains

Whole grains provide B vitamins, fiber, folic acid, iron, magnesium,
selenium, and other minerals lost during refining. Whole grains include
whole wheat, oats and oatmeal, rye, barley, popcorn, brown and wild rice,
and buckwheat. Quinoa, which is not strictly a grain, is another popular
These whole grains can help lessen the risk of heart disease, stroke,
obesity, and type 2 diabetes by improving blood cholesterol levels.

Consume a Variety of Fibers

There are two types of dietary fiber: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. The
former is mainly connected with lower harmful cholesterol levels and a
lower risk of cardiovascular disease, but all foods high in dietary fiber
provide health benefits.
Another perk? Fiber-rich foods can help you feel full on fewer calories,
aiding weight loss attempts and good weight management. Although it is
recommended that you consume at least 28 grams of dietary fiber per day,
the average intake is less than half that amount.
Oats and oat bran provide the highest concentrations of soluble fiber,
whereas wheat, rye, rice, and other grains contain predominantly insoluble
fiber. Legumes, beans, and peas, and certain fruits and vegetables, such
as pears and peas, are high in both soluble and insoluble fiber.

Choose Meat Carefully

Many people rely on meat as their primary source of protein, yet many
favorites — burgers, steak, and bacon – are also high in saturated fat.
Switching to heart-healthy proteins can help lower the risk factors for heart
Fish, shellfish, skinless chicken, and trimmed lean meats, which include
various cuts of the pig, are all recommended by the American Heart
Association. You should eat no more than 6 ounces of cooked fish per day,
and the AHA recommends eating at least two servings of baked or grilled
fish each week. Beans, peas, lentils, or tofu combined with nutritious grains
like brown rice can also provide a whole protein source without the
saturated fat.

Prepare to Succeed

Rethinking why – and how much – you cook is an easy way to improve the
health of your eating habits. This entails portion control - a 3 ounce serving
of protein is the size of a deck of cards, or around half a chicken breast -
and preparation. Instead of pan-frying or deep-frying meat, bake, broil, or
roast it. After browning, drain the fat and remove the skin and fat from the
bird before cooking. When roasting a chicken or a turkey, however, remove
the skin after cooking but before carving.

Consume Water

Adults should primarily drink water or non-sugar-sweetened liquids such as
black coffee or tea. Soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, and fruit drinks,
including juice, can all be high in sugar. Sweeteners have no nutrition and
frequently contribute to weight gain and obesity, which are risk factors for
heart disease. A can of ordinary soda includes eight teaspoons of sugar or
roughly 130 calories, and diet sodas with artificial sweeteners offer nothing
to help you control your sweet desires.

Continue to be Active

A heart-healthy diet entails more than just keeping track of what you eat.
Exercise can help you achieve your goals of losing weight, strengthening
your heart, or simply staying in good shape. Working out regularly will help
lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels and keep your metabolism
running smoothly. It is also an excellent stress reliever. Each week, aim forat least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of
strenuous physical activity.
A heart-healthy diet serves as the cornerstone for combating heart disease.
Eating correctly can help you keep your blood pressure and cholesterol
levels in check while lowering your risk of obesity and diabetes.
Furthermore, Northwestern Medicine research demonstrates that starting a
balanced diet as a young adult might impact heart health as early as your
thirties. That is to say, there is no better moment than the present to affirm
or implement your heart-healthy diet!

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