Heart disease is the #1 killer of American women. Risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and being overweight all increase your personal risk of developing heart disease. A healthy diet can help lower or control these risk factors. So put your heart into healthy eating. Here are 5 ways to do that.
1. Plan to Eat Heart Healthy
Put together an eating plan that offers the balance of calories that is right for you, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low/fat-free dairy products. The number of calories you need each day depends on your age and how physically active you are. Add seafood, lean meats, poultry, beans, eggs, and unsalted nuts for protein. Limit saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, sodium (salt), and added sugars. Grill, steam, or bake instead of frying and flavor with spices, not sauces.
2. Eat Smart Changing your perceptions of how and what you eat really helps.
Use smaller plates to help limit portion sizes. Chew slowly and really think about textures and flavors as you eat.
3. Choose Healthy Snacks
Enjoy treats with fewer calories that fit into your daily eating plan—like a cup of red seedless grapes or a small banana, a cup of cherry tomatoes or five red pepper rings, or a half cup of low/fat-free yogurt.
4. Dine Out the Healthy Way
You can eat healthy in restaurants. Control portion size by eating half your entrée, and take the rest home for another meal. Limit calories by choosing foods that are broiled, baked, or roasted. Ask for low-sodium options from the menu, and leave off or ask for butter, gravy, sauces, or salad dressing on the side.
5. Find Heart Healthy Menus To Enjoy
How you eat day after day makes a real difference in your health over time. Take a look at how you’re currently eating and compare it with heart healthy recipes you find online.