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Eat With Your Heart in Mind

July 25, 2018
Keep Cholesterol, Triglycerides and Blood Pressure in Line With These Tips

Following a heart-healthy diet also has a big impact on your overall well-being. You can reduce or prevent other medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity — and you feel better too! Try these top tips for healthy eating.

Eat Regularly

It’s important to space out your meals throughout the day to keep energized and avoid dips in blood sugar. Starving yourself can also lead to overeating. Start with a breakfast that features fiber and protein. Whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk or oatmeal with fruit slices are two easy options.

Get Your Nine a Day

Aim for at least nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day to get the vitamins and minerals you need. Fresh, frozen, canned and dried fruit and unsweetened fruit juice all count. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber and antioxidants. They help keep blood pressure in check.

Try Other Flavors

Season food with spices other than salt. Too much salt increases the risk of high blood pressure, which can lead to heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association recommends a diet with less than 1,150 mg of sodium a day. Check with your doctor about the amount of sodium in your diet. Much of our sodium intake comes from prepared foods such as breads, cold cuts, canned soup, pizza and snacks. When possible, choose reduced-sodium alternatives.

Cut The Fat

Everybody needs a certain amount of fat each day, but too much saturated fat can raise cholesterol levels. This kind of fat is found in red meat, full-fat dairy products, processed meats, cakes and pastries. Try to eat foods that contain healthy, unsaturated fats, such as avocados, oily fish, olive oil, nuts and seeds. These help lower cholesterol.

Stay Hydrated

Liquid is part of a heart-healthy diet. Try to drink 8 to 10 glasses of fluid every day to prevent getting dehydrated. Water is best, but other fluids (such as tea, coffee, milk and fruit juice) count. Some foods, particularly fruit, also contain water. If your doctor has restricted your fluid intake, it’s very important to limit your fluid to the level your doctor suggests.