There are thousands of people who die because of the heart disease.It is the leading killer of men and women,and claims more lives than all forms of cancer combined. Being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease can take an emotional toll as well, affecting your mood, outlook, and quality of life. But that doesn’t mean you can’t protect yourself. In addition to exercise, being careful about what you eat can help you lower cholesterol, control blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and maintain a healthy weight—while simultaneously improving your mood. If you’ve already been diagnosed with heart disease or have high cholesterol or blood pressure, a heart-smart diet can help you better manage these conditions, improve your outlook, and lower your risk for heart attack.Hence it is very important step to improve your diet toward preventing heart disease, but you may feel unsure where to begin, so your goal can be to incorporate a variety of healthy foods prepared in healthy ways into your diet, and make these habits your new lifestyle.
Heart healthy diet tip 1: Reduce saturated and trans fats. One of the most important improvements you can make to your diet is to limit saturated fats and entirely cut out trans fats. Both types of fat raise your LDL, or “bad” cholesterol level, which can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke. Trans fat also lowers your levels of HDL or “good cholesterol, which can put you at increased cardiovascular risk. Luckily, there are many ways to control how much saturated and trans fats you take in and replace them with foods that lower your cholesterol.
Heart healthy diet tip 2: Don’t replace bad fats with sugar. Despite all the low-fat meal options on offer in every grocery aisle, obesity and heart disease are still on the rise. That may be because many of these low-fat foods have removed the saturated fat but replaced it with added sugar to improve the taste. But the truth is your body doesn’t need any added sugar—it gets all it needs from the sugar that naturally occurs in food. So when sugar is hidden in foods such as bread, cereals, canned soups and vegetables, pasta sauce, margarine, instant mashed potatoes, frozen dinners, soy sauce, ketchup, and many “low-fat” or “no-fat” food options, it adds up to a lot of empty calories that are as bad for your heart as they are for your waistline.The latest research suggests that added sugars may contribute to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease as much as, or even more than, added salt. To reduce your risk of heart disease, the American Heart Association recommends that the daily intake of sugar should be no more than:
6 teaspoons or 100 calories for women.
9 teaspoons or 150 calories a day for men.
Currently, most adults in the U.S. consume about 22 teaspoons of added sugars a day.
Heart healthy diet tip 3: Steer clear of salt and processed foods. Reducing the salt in your food is a big part of any heart-healthy diet. Eating a lot of salt can contribute to high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends no more than a teaspoon of salt a day for an adult. That may sound alarmingly small, but there are actually many painless—even delicious—ways to reduce your sodium intake.Reduce canned or processed foods. Much of the salt you eat comes from canned or processed foods like soups or frozen dinners—even poultry or other meats often have salt added during processing. Eating fresh foods, looking for unsalted meats, and making your own soups or stews can dramatically reduce your sodium intake. Cook at home, using spices for flavor. Cooking for yourself enables you to have more control over your salt intake. Make use of the many delicious alternatives to salt. Try fresh herbs like basil, thyme, or chives. In the dried spices aisle, you can find alternatives such as allspice, bay leaves, or cumin to flavor your meal without sodium.
Heart healthy diet tip 4: Rekindle home cooking.It’s very difficult to eat right when you’re eating out a lot, ordering in, or eating microwave dinners and other processed foods because the portions are usually too large and the meals contain too much salt, sugar, and fat. Cooking at home will give you better control over the nutritional content of your meals and can also help you to save money and lose weight. Making quick, heart healthy meals is easier and less time-consuming than you may think—and you don’t have to be an experienced cook to master some quick and wholesome meals.