Finally some good news! The majority of heart disease is preventable. Although there are risk factors that we cannot control like our family history, our age and gender, there are many factors that we can control to decrease our risk of stroke and heart attack.
So, what can we control? Our lifestyle choices!
We can choose:
- to quit smoking
- increase our activity level
- maintain a desirable body weight
- pay more attention to what we’re eating
Heart-healthy eating is more attainable than you might think and here are 5 simple tips
Tip #1: Eat more fish!
It may sound simple, but it works. We know that foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help lower your risk of death from coronary artery disease, and fish are the best natural source of omega-3s. Current guidelines recommend that everyone — including pregnant and breastfeeding women and children — eat a variety of fish at least twice a week. And by a variety of fish, I do mean a variety; it could be salmon, canned tuna, tilapia, catfish, you name it. Fish can be easy to incorporate into your diet. Recipes can be found on Pinterest and many other heart healthy sites.
Tip #2: Weigh in once a week.
Keeping your weight in check is a cornerstone to maintaining a healthy heart. Portion control and moderation are always key. Try not to deprive yourself in your diet but find healthier alternatives. Rather than potato chips and onion dip, choose carrots and celery sticks with a savory hummus. See the delicious recipe that I added at end of this blog.
Tip #3: Get creative with high-fiber foods.
Dietary fiber helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower your risk of heart disease. Add chia or flax seeds to your smoothies, top desserts and even entrees with chopped nuts, experiment with baked goods by substituting ¼ of the flour for whole grain flour or try other high fiber grains such as quinoa, amaranth or buckwheat.
Tip #4: Go easy on the salt.
Countless research shows that eating too much sodium is linked to high blood pressure, so look for other ways to season your foods. Spices, fresh herbs, lemon or orange juice, and onions are some of my favorites both when cooking and at the table.
Tip #5: Choose healthy cooking methods.
Skip the added fat called for in packaged rice and pasta mixes and season with fresh herbs and spices instead of oil and salt. Marinating in citrus juices will reduce using high fat sauces. Grilling and broiling will reduce the fat without sacrificing taste and texture.
Here is a link below to make the best hummus ever. I’ve made it myself and I must say it’s even better than store bought! It’s simply delicious!
In Health & Wellness,