The key to eating healthily is a diet rich in vegetables and fruits. These types of foods contain vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates, and fiber. Eat a wide variety of vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, squash, and peas. Also include lean meat, fish, eggs, and legumes like black beans, kidney beans, and tofu. Aim to fill half of your plate with vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are also great sources of antioxidants.
Despite its heart-healthy reputation, many chocolates are loaded with saturated fat. Cutting back on alcohol is also an effective way to improve your heart health. Even dark chocolate does not live up to its name. In addition to limiting alcohol consumption, maintaining a healthy weight will help lower your cholesterol and improve your heart’s health. A heart-healthy diet should include a variety of foods and avoid processed foods, like white bread and pasta.
Avoid high-fat meats and choose plant-based protein instead. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are helpful in lowering blood fats. You can find a wide variety of omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts, flaxseed, and canola oil. Legumes are a good source of low-fat protein and contain no cholesterol. Substitute legumes for meat and increase your fiber intake. Lastly, eat lots of vegetables.
Another way to boost your vitamin intake is to eat more cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, spinach, turnip greens, kale, and cabbage. These greens are packed with vitamin A, K, and calcium, and are also great sources of magnesium. Aside from providing essential nutrients, they are also tasty! Then there are those plant-based milks and other dairy products. Choose those with calcium content and reduce your sodium intake.
Saturated fats in meat and poultry should not exceed six percent of your daily calories. That’s approximately 11 to 13 grams of saturated fat. If you’re aiming to keep your salt intake to a minimum, you can use salt substitutes to add flavor. Also, limit the use of butter, margarine, and shortening. Choose low-fat or non-fat alternatives to replace these foods and enjoy your heart healthy diet!
Saturated fats in dairy products increase LDL cholesterol levels. Avoid these by replacing them with healthy sources of fat such as avocado, extra virgin olive oil, and peanut butter. Choose low-fat dairy products instead of high-fat or sugar-laden products. For a delicious milk substitute, try unsweetened, calcium-fortified varieties. And don’t forget to eat wholegrain options instead of white foods. They’re high in fibre and nutrients and will boost your health without causing too much inflammation.
Water is also important for your overall health. Drinking eight glasses of water a day is recommended. Many older adults have trouble detecting thirst. But a simple glass of water each day can help. Water-rich fruits and vegetables can also provide needed moisture. And while you’re at it, be sure to engage with others at mealtimes to make it as enjoyable as possible. And remember, social interaction and variety make meals a pleasant time.