Heart healthy eating refers to sticking to a diet that keeps your heart healthier in the long run and lowers the risk of strokes and cardiovascular diseases.
According to the US NIH, one-third of deaths are caused due to heart related problems across the globe. The statistics prove how important it is to keep a check on your eating habits and diet.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, heart disease is the leading cause of deaths in American women, stroke being the third one.
There are so many doubts and questions regarding healthy heart eating. In this article, we shall try to answer the common ones.
Which Foods Should We Eat for a Healthy Heart?
According to the doctors of Mayo Clinic, people must keep the following things in mind while preparing their diet for a healthy heart.
Fruits and vegetables reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. They are also rich sources of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
Choose whole grains like barley, quinoa, farro, etc instead of refined grains. They are rich source of fiber and help regulate blood pressure and maintain heart health.
Choose low-fat sources of protein like lean meat, low-fat milk and eggs. Legumes and beans are also good sources of low-fat protein.
Which Foods Should We Avoid to Reduce the Risk of Strokes and Heart Diseases?
According to the Office on Women's Health, people must avoid certain foods because of their high sugar and salt content. The other points include:
Make sure to consume less than 10% of calories from saturated fats present in pizza, ice-cream, cakes, cookies, bacon, etc.
FDA recommends to check the food labels and avoid buying products with artificial trans fats like fried foods, margarine, snacks, baked goods, etc.
People must also cut down on foods with added sugars which are in the ingredient list under the name sucrose, fructose, glucose, dextrose, honey, molasses, lactose, corn syrup, caramel, invert syrup, etc.
Does Salt Affect the Heart Health?
According to the doctors of Cleveland Clinic, high doses of salt in food can increase the blood pressure thus increasing the risk of heart-related issues.
The American Heart Association recommends not more than 2500 milligrams of salt in a day for any adult. It is advised to cut down on canned and processed food, also be wise about your condiment choices.
How to Know the Right Amount of Calories ?
According to US Association of health and Human Services, the amount of calories required by a person depends on various factors like gender, body size, physical activity, etc.
However, women between the age of 30 to 50 with moderate physical activity must consume 2000 calories and it is 2,500 calories for men.
Is Cholesterol Unhealthy for Heart Patients?
Cholesterol is a sticky-wax like substance but there are two types of cholesterol. HDL known as good cholesterol and LDL known as bad cholesterol.
It is important to maintain a balance and keep the HDL levels higher than LDL. Meat, dairy products, foods with transfats, saturated fats contain cholesterol. So, be aware of the types of foods you eat and how much do you eat.
Is Sea Food Safe for the Heart Patients?
According to MedicalNewsToday, seafood is healthy for the heart patients since they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Research has shown that 8 ounces of sea food containing omega-3 fatty acids per week reduces the risk of heart related issues.
You can opt for salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout for foods rich in omega-3.
How much Alcohol Should one Drink?
According to Hopkins Medicine, people must emphasise on the term 'moderate' though the word is open for debate. But moderate drinking refers to 1 drink for women and 2 drinks for men. People must quit drinking if they have heart rhythm abnormalities or risk of heart failure.