Eating healthy is important to maintain a healthy heart. Binge eating not only increases the risk of developing heart diseases; it can also lead to obesity, stroke and other health-related problems. Most of the youngsters today are facing health problems like high cholesterol levels, diabetes and hypertension, due to the kind of food they consume and sedentary lifestyle. Controlling junk food intake and adding nutrient and vitamin-rich food in your diet will help you have a young heart throughout life. All of us have different doubts on the kind of foods we must consume for a healthier life. It is important to note that having the right kind of food in right quantity matters the most.
Here are few tips to keep your heart fit and healthy:
1. Watch The Quantity Of Food
How much you eat is as important as what you eat. Overloading the plates, eating till you feel stuffed, and munching even after you get full increases the calorie intake. Overeating on a regular basis can lead to obesity in the long run. Therefore, it is important to eat in smaller portions. The best way to avoid overeating is using smaller plates and counting the number of servings while eating.
2. Limit Unhealthy Fat Intake
Eating biscuits or chips when you get hungry is an immediate solution for your hunger. But one needs to keep a tab on the amount of calories consumed through these food items. Processed foods are high in trans-fat and regular consumption of this can result in high blood cholesterol levels. It also increases the risk of coronary artery disease. A high blood cholesterol level can lead to a build-up of plaque in the arteries called atherosclerosis, which can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
It is important to check food labels of processed food items such as cookies, biscuits, cakes for the trans-fat levels. Also, it is better to use lean meat with less fat, yogurt over butter, fruit slices instead of jam or other spreads on the toast.
(Also Read: Beware: These 5 Words on Food Labels May Fool You!)
3. Add More Protein
Lean meat, poultry and fish, pulses, low-fat dairy products and eggs are some of the best sources of protein. It is vital to choose the right kind of meat to avoid fat intake. Fish is a good alternative to the high-calorie meat. Certain types of fishes are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower lipid levels. Beans, peas and lentils are also good sources of protein and contain less fat and no cholesterol and are the best alternatives for meat. Choosing skim milk rather than whole milk and skinless chicken breasts will help the body absorb protein better.
(Also Read: The Simple Seven Checklist For A Healthy Heart)
4. Include Whole Grains In Diet
Whole grains are a good source of fibre and other essential nutrients that play a significant role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. Whole grains are good for a healthy heart and they can be used as a substitute for the refined grains.
5. Plant-Based Diets Helps Promote Heart Health
Vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals. They are also low in calories and rich in dietary fibre. Vegetables and fruits and other plant-based foods contain substances that may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Eating more fruits and vegetables may help you cut back on higher calorie foods such as meat, cheese and snack items.
Now that we have shared with you these diet tips, bring them to your rescue and boost your heart health.
By Dr. Vikranth Veeranna, Cardiologist, BR Life SSNMC Hospital
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