Heart Healthy Meal
Did you know that obesity has overtaken smoking as the leading cause for premature heart attack? Being overweight or obese is a major risk-factor for developing heart disease because it puts extra strain on the heart. Nurse Rose Melendez, RN, shares her tips to eat a heart-healthy diet.
When you prepare your meals ahead of time it's convenient, cost effective and allows you to have control over the choice of ingredients. Building your own heart healthy diet is important because it can:
- Lower your blood pressure and cholesterol
- Help you keep a healthy weight, and
- Reduce your risk for heart disease and diabetes
As you choose ingredients for your upcoming meals, you want to aim for a balanced variety of these nutrient-rich foods with appropriate portion sizes, such as:
- Half your plate with fruits and vegetables
- One quarter of whole grains like whole wheat barley or berries, quinoa, oats and brown rice
- One quarter of lean protein like fish, chicken, beans or nuts.
Try these tasty but heart-healthy ingredients:
- Healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, olive oil and avocados
- Low-fat cheese or dairy products to cut unhealthy, saturated fats.
- Spices and herbs instead of salt to add flavor
When meal-planning, try to avoid or limit these items that can harm your heart, such as:
- White rice, bread or pasta
- Red meat
- Fried foods
- Salad dressing
- Food high in sugar, salt or saturated fats
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