Thursday, September 30, 2010

Healthy diet for a Healthy heart

A healthy diet is the first step in lowering cholesterol. Food rich in vegetables, rich in fiber and nuts, complex carbohydrates including roots, tubers, lentils and legumes, low fat diary products are good for the heart.
  • Avoid fried foods. They are high in fat and will worsen cholesterol levels. For a healthy heart, one needs to limit all types of fat - saturated, polysaturated, trans-fatty acids and monounsaturated to no more than 30% of the total body calories. High fat foods should be balanced with low fat choices so that the daily intake of calories is well balanced. Limit saturated fat to no more than 10% of total calories.
  • Avoid concentrated sources of organ meats, egg yolks and whole milk products.
  • One can choose lean cuts of red meat, chicken and turkey; eggs without yolk, fish baked or broiled, skim milk, whole grain cereals, beans, pasta, potatoes and cereals.
  • One needs to limit the intake of fatty cuts of red meat, fried chicken, egg yolk, shrimp and other shell fish, whole milk, cream, ice cream, cream cheese, French fries, cream causes and avocado and coconut, butter, hydrogenated fat and ghee, sweets, doughnuts and pies surely don’t find place in healthy heart recipes.
  • Some studies reveal that nuts, if consumed in moderation (1.5 ounces) everyday as part of low saturated fat and cholesterol diet help reduce LDL cholesterol.
  • Foods with soluble fiber can be consumed. These include oat bran, oatmeal, peas, rice bran, barley, citrus fruits, strawberries and apple pulp. Beans and lentils are rich in fiber and proteins and they also help reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Certain kinds of fish contain high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. These are fatty fishes like salmon, mackerel, herring and tuna. Omega 3 fatty acids help lower the level of triglycerides.
  • Soy compounds contain isoflavones which act like human hormones that regulate cholesterol levels. Therefore eating soy products can help protect against heart disease.
  • Intake of food high in antioxidant vitamins may help prevent cholesterol from damaging the lining of the arteries. These include Vitamin C and E and the carotenoids such as beta carotene.
  • Alcohol should be consumed in moderation. Alcohol consumption should be limited up to two small drinks or two glasses of beer or wine.
Eat smart and healthy to keep your heart in good shape!


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