Tips for a Healthy Heart Diet to Start the New Year
Sponsored by: MegaRed®
What we eat plays a large role in preventing heart disease and other heart-related issues. Whether you're changing from years of unhealthy eating or just wanting to tweak your current lifestyle, adapting to a healthy heart diet can often be difficult. However, the health benefits of eating better will make themselves known quicker than you might have expected.
In this article, we will share some helpful tips on how you can maintain a healthy heart diet and keep it in as good a condition as is possible.
Food Portion Control
Many people, especially Americans, eat far larger portions than necessary. Whether you're going for seconds at home or getting a large order at a restaurant, you may be taking in too many calories. It’s easier to do that than it sounds.
If you're cooking at home, start using measuring cups and spoons to keep track of how much you consume in order to eat a lower-calorie, nutrient-rich diet. A serving of beef, fish or chicken is typically the size of a deck of cards, while starchy carbs like pasta and rice are about half a cup, or the size of a hockey puck. Investing in a portion control plate could really make you take a second look at the amount of food you are consuming in a single sitting.
Eat More Healthy Fruits & Vegetables
It’s important to be sure you’re eating plenty of nutrient-dense foods for a healthy heart diet. These foods have fiber, vitamins, minerals and many other important nutrients. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help with controlling weight, cholesterol and blood pressure.
A good rule of thumb for eating fruits and vegetables is to choose those with a variety of rich colors. Having lots of oranges, reds and greens on your plate will not only look appealing, but will taste good too. The amount of ways you can incorporate fruits and vegetables are practically endless and the benefits are second to none.
Know the Difference: Good Fats & Bad Fats
It's important to limit how much saturated and trans fats you eat to reduce blood cholesterol and lower your risk of coronary artery disease. High blood cholesterol can lead to plaque build-up in the arteries, increasing risk of heart attack and stroke.
Begin by switching out the less-healthy fats for the good ones. This could include cooking with olive or coconut oil instead of butter or lard. Seek out margarine that's free of trans-fats. Make your own salad dressing with olive oil, vinegar and spices instead of using store-bought dressings that are high in trans fats.
Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, too. Add them to your healthy heart diet by eating foods like salmon, leafy greens and nuts, or by taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement. At MegaRed®, we understand that because the body does not create omega-3s on its own, we need to keep their levels topped up within the body. MegaRed® Advanced 3x Triple Absorption provides omega-3 fatty acid support for your body.* One small krill oil pill per day allows easy absorption and has no fishy aftertaste, unlike regular fish oil capsules. Always consult your doctor to see if you should take krill oil or fish oil supplements to get the omega-3s you need.
Create Healthy Meal Plans
The most important part of any diet is to keep track of what foods you have been eating Creating a weekly meal planner can help track the food and the products you have been consuming. This will give you a closer look at what you eat and can help prevent you from reaching for the processed food options.
Make big batches of dinners in the slow cooker for your family to eat throughout the week or find quick, easy recipes for breakfast on the go. You will not only create a healthy heart diet plan, but you may also save money on take-out, too.
*THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THESE PRODUCTS ARE NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT, CURE OR PREVENT DISEASE.