Keep your cardiac health in the best possible shape by choosing nutrient-rich foods that are low in sugar and unhealthy fats. The foods that we put on our plates can make or break our wellness goals. So choose wisely.
The American Heart Association recommends foods that contain an abundance of vitamins and minerals, such as fiber and protein. What you don’t eat also matters – look for foods that are low in saturated fat, sodium and trans fats.
If you are looking for a few superfoods to add to your heart healthy diet, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends:
• Dairy foods that are low-fat or fat free
• Eggs, legumes, lean meats, poultry and other protein-rich foods.
• Fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as mackerel, salmon and tuna
• Fruits and vegetables
• Oils and foods high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, including avocados, salmon and trout, almonds, pine nuts and walnuts, and canola, sunflower and corn oils
• Whole grains
Get creative as you cook to support cardiac health. Try different flavors and combinations and incorporate seasonal ingredients to keep your menus as inspiring as they are nourishing.
Foods That May Sabotage A Heart-Healthy Diet
You have been working diligently to fill up on heart-healthy fruits, vegetables and fiber-filled whole grains. Well done! Eating healthy foods is only one piece of the puzzle if you are trying to improve the well-being of your heart. Limiting your intake of salt-laden, sugar-rich items is also important.
Skip these menu items:
• Processed meats – Deli meats, such as bologna, sausage and turkey, are typically preserved with nitrites and salt.
• Refined grains – Items like white rice and bread may cause blood sugar spikes. They’re also missing lots of the nutrients found in their whole grain counterparts, such as dietary fiber and phytonutrients.
• Soda – A 12-ounce can of this bubbly drink can pack as much as 10 teaspoons of sugar and more than 100 empty calories. To keep your diet on track, consider sugar-free teas and low-calorie juices instead.
If you are concerned about your heart health, talk to your primary care provider about your questions.
— By Siloam Springs Regional Hospital