Oct 31, 2013

Foods for a Healthy Heart

Heart Healthy Foods

Imagine how eating heart healthy foods can help that gutsy little organ perform so much better. Try this: make a fist and then keep on opening and closing it. Your hand gets tired after a while, doesn't it? Now spare a thought for your heart that has to do this, day in and day out, without any rest.

Considering how hard our hearts have to work and what we do to it, it is no wonder that heart disease is the number one killer in the world. By eating to keep your heart healthy, you can lessen your chances of heart disease considerably.

Whether you already have heart problems or just want to keep your heart healthy, making the right dietary choices can go a long way:

EASY ON THE FAT


Eating too much saturated fat can cause high blood cholesterol, which increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Reducing your fat intake does not mean your meals have to boring meals. In fact, replacing solid fats with healthy alternatives can be exciting and delicious.

For example, next time you have a baked potato, instead of putting butter on top try fat free yogurt flavored with fresh herbs or if your really brave try putting some good chunky salsa ontop.You will be surprised at how good it is!

Use: In place of:

Olive oil, Canola oil in place of Shortening, lard

Low-fat or fat free yogurt, Salsa to replace Cream sauces, gravy and mayonnaise

Ricotta or low fat cottage cheese instead of Hard, full fat cheese

Fat free or skimmed organic milk in place of full cream milk

A LITTLE LESS SODIUM


We do need sodium, but it is a fact that most of us eat too much salt. Processed foods usually contain massive amounts of sodium. Instead of adding salt to your food, try using herbs and other condiments that do not contain sodium.

LEAN PROTEIN


An easy way to eat less fat and still get enough protein is to choose the lower fat options. Rather eat skinless chicken cooked without added fats, than deep fried chicken.

Replacing meat and poultry with fish is an excellent way to get enough protein as well as the "good" fats such as Omega-3. Excellent sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are Herring, Mackerel, Salmon and other cold-water fish.

Eating legumes instead of meat is also a good way to increase your consumption of heart healthy foods. Next time you have a burger try a soy burger instead of hamburger.

FABULOUS FIBER


Fruit and vegetables are a wonderful source of soluble fiber. Add to that the vitamins and minerals they supply, the fact that they are low in calories and you know why you should eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. One of my favorite is the goji berry which we are only just beginning to find out all the good stuff about.

Eat as much fresh fruit as possible, but avoid fruits in heavy syrup. Do not cover vegetables with high-fat sauces or dressings.

Opt for whole-grain bread, whole-wheat pasta and brown rice. This will not only curb your hunger for longer, but also supply your body with fiber.

Make smart choices when you cook as well as when you eat out. If you treat yourself to something "less healthy" now and then, don't feel guilty. Just try to keep it to the minimum. Eat delicious, heart healthy foods most of the time and your heart will reward you!

If your reading this article because your concerned about a family member or a friends who needs to change their diet then send them a heart healthy gift basket to encourage them and help them get of to a healthy start.
http://healthfood-guide.com/hearthealthyfoods.aspx

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