What Is in a Healthy Heart Diet?
Your heart might be the most important muscle in your body. Unfortunately, many of the foods we eat each day actually burden our hearts with excess fat and cholesterol, making it hard for the heart to do its job. A few simple changes to your diet could have a big impact on your heart health, and even prevent you from premature heart disease in the long run. Here’s what you should be looking for in a healthy heart diet.
Get to Know Your Fats
Did you know that there are four main categories of fat in our food? Not all fats are created equal, and some of them are particularly bad for your heart. Pay close attention to saturated fats and trans fats, which are known to clog arteries and obstruct blood flow, and choose monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats instead. These heart healthy fats are found in nuts, fish, and avocado. You will still want to use moderation, but you do need some of these healthy fats to help your body metabolize vitamins and nutrients, so don’t cut out fats altogether. Switching to unsaturated fats helps lower your cholesterol and keeps your heart happy.
Increase Your Dietary Fiber
Switching to whole grains is a great way to increase your fiber intake. Extra fiber helps your body regulate itself better, which ultimately helps you manage your weight, reduce cravings, and more. In addition, fiber found in fruits, vegetables, and nuts ensures that you are getting plenty of B vitamins and other nutrients that you can’t get anywhere else. Again, many of these nutrients are fat-soluble, so you need to be sure that you are eating them along with a healthy fat for your body to make good use of them.
Choose the Right Proteins
Finally, you need to make sure you are choosing the right proteins for your heart. In general, red meat should only be eaten once a week. The rest of the time, stick to white meat, fish and plant proteins. You should always choose proteins with as little fat as possible, including removing the skin and cutting away any visible fat around the edges. Experiment with bean-based substitutions and tofu to find replacements for your red meat whenever possible, and add fish to your diet twice a week. Try our Blackened Salmon to get inspired.
A heart healthy diet gives your body all the vitamins and nutrients it needs while cutting down on the things that make your heart work harder. Knowing your fats and choosing smarter proteins will go a long way toward keeping your heart healthy. To learn more, visit Lean Lifestyle today and check out our easy meal plan options.