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5 Heart Healthy Diet Tips

Weight control and regular exercise are critical for keeping your heart in shape—but the food you eat does matter. Heart disease may be the leading killer of US citizens, but that doesn’t mean you can’t protect yourself. In addition to exercise, being careful about what you eat and what you don’t eat, can help you lower cholesterol, control blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and maintain a healthy weight. 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 and lowering your risk for heart attack.

1) Lower your intake of saturated and trans fats.
The best possible improvements you can make to your diet, limiting saturated fats and cutting out trans fats entirely is perhaps the most important. Both types of fat raise your LDL, or “bad” cholesterol level, which can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke.

2) Eat foods that lower cholesterol
Unhealthy cholesterol levels increase your risk for heart disease, so keeping yours low is key to a healthier heart. Your diet is central to controlling your cholesterol. Some foods can actually lower your cholesterol, while others only make matters worse.

3) Cut back on salt and processed foods.
Consuming salt can contribute to high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Reducing the salt in your food is a big part of a heart-healthy diet. The American Heart Association recommends no more than about 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.

4) Do more home cooking.
It’s very difficult to eat right for your heart when you’re eating out a lot, ordering in, or eating microwave dinners and other processed foods. The good news is that you can learn to make quick, heart healthy meals at home. It’s easier and less time-consuming than you may think.

5)High fiber foods are key.
A diet high in fiber can lower “bad” cholesterol and provide nutrients that can help protect against heart disease. By filling up on whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, you can get most of the fiber you’ll need, which means you’ll also be lowering your risk of heart disease.

6) Control your weight by controlling your portions.
Gaining or carrying excess weight means that your heart must work harder, and this often leads to high blood pressure—a major cause of heart disease. Achieving a healthy body weight is key to reducing your risk of heart disease. Reducing portion sizes is a crucial step toward losing or maintaining a healthy weight.

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http://heart-healthy-diet.researchedbyyou.com Heart Healthy Diet

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