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5 Simple Ways to Eat Heart Healthy

5 Simple Ways to Eat Heart Healthy

Heart Healthy Tips

From hitting the fast-food drive-thru to adding frozen dinners to the grocery cart, it’s no secret that Americans have an abundance of options for a quick and easy meal. While these options may be a convenient time-saver, they aren’t convenient when it comes to heart health, especially as you age. Here are some nutrition tips your ticker will thank you for!

1. Incorporate Whole Grains Into Your Diet

Whole grains can help you keep your cholesterol levels under control and limit your risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. When choosing whole grains, you don’t have to stick to just one type. Add a variety of whole grains to your diet for optimal heart nutrition. Some common whole-grain foods can be found in the following:

  • Whole wheat
  • Whole oats
  • Oatmeal
  • Brown rice
  • Whole grain barley
  • Wild rice

Heed this healthy tip: when shopping for whole grains, it’s key to read the nutrition labels to ensure that the first ingredient listed shows “whole” or “whole grain” to confirm you are getting an authentic whole-grain food.

2. Keep Your Fruits and Veggies Colorful

Piling up your plate with extra fruit and veggies will fill you up and limit overeating. Keeping them colorful can help reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Try noshing on some of these natural snacks:

  • Berries
  • Avocados
  • Tomatoes
  • Oranges
  • Cantaloupes
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli

3. Eat The “Healthy Fats”

While the term “healthy fat” may seem like an oxymoron, it’s a real thing! Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, also known as “good fats,” can help control cholesterol, as well as reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. “Healthy fats” can be found in:

  • Olive oil
  • Avocados
  • Peanut butter
  • Olives
  • Nuts
  • Flaxseed
  • Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines
  • Tofu
  • Soymilk

4. Limit High Sodium Foods

Eating foods that are high in sodium can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure, which is also a risk factor of heart disease. Check your nutrition labels for sodium content and avoid the following foods that are laden with salt:

  • Deli meats
  • Canned soups and vegetables
  • Frozen meals
  • Condiment packets
  • Jarred spaghetti sauce

Forgo Sugary Beverages

According to the American Heart Association, regular intake of high-sugar beverages like sodas and sports drinks can put you at risk of cardiovascular disease. However, the good news is, if you don’t like to drink water “straight up” and prefer a little flavor, try infusing your water with cucumbers, oranges, lemons, or any of your favorite fruits!

Keeping your heart healthy with the above tips can have a positive impact on your overall health and well-being.