Nutrition Facts - Heart Disease & Diet

Nutrition Facts - Heart Disease and Diet

Feed Your Heart Well

Feeding your heart well is a powerful way to reduce or even eliminate some risk factors. Adopting a heart-healthy nutrition strategy can help reduce total and LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol), lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, and reduce body weight. While most dietary plans just tell you what you CAN'T eat (usually your favorite foods!), the most powerful nutrition strategy helps you focus on what you CAN eat. In fact, heart disease research has shown that adding heart-healthy foods is just as important as cutting back on others.

Here are eight nutrition strategies to reduce your risk of heart disease:

1.  Eat more fish. Fish is a good source of protein and other nutrients. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

2. Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes. These beautiful and delicious wonders of nature may be one of the most powerful strategies in fighting heart disease.

3. Choose fat calories wisely.

4. Limit total fat grams.

5. Eat a bare minimum of saturated fats and trans fats. (for example, fats found in butter, margarine, salad dressing, fried foods, snack foods, sweets, and desserts).

6. When you use added fat, use fats high in monounsaturated fats. (for example, fats found in olive and peanut oil).

7. Eat a variety -- and just the right amount -- of protein-rich foods. Commonly eaten protein foods (meat, dairy products) are among the main culprits in increasing heart disease risk. Reduce this nutritional risk factor by balancing animal, fish, and vegetable sources of protein.

8. Limit cholesterol consumption. Dietary cholesterol can raise blood cholesterol levels, especially in high-risk people. Limiting dietary cholesterol has an added bonus: You'll also cut out saturated fat, as cholesterol and saturated fat are usually found in the same foods. Get energy by eating complex carbohydrates (whole-wheat pasta, sweet potatoes, whole-grain breads) and limit simple carbohydrates (regular soft drinks, sugar, sweets). If you have high cholesterol, these simple carbohydrates exacerbate the condition and may increase your risk for heart disease.

At Simply Nutrition we can develop an individualized eating plan for your unique situation.   Please contact us now.