Heart disease is the world’s most common killer. While some risk factors involve genetics, there are certain lifestyle risks you can avoid to improve your chances of maintaining a healthy heart for many years to come. Regular exercise will do a great deal to aid your efforts in improving your heart health, but nothing comes close to diet when it comes to boosting your odds of living a long, healthy life. Incorporate these simple diet tips into your lifestyle to maintain a healthy weight and beat heart disease before it has a chance to do any damage.
- Stay away from sodium. If you’re going to keep an eye on just one aspect of your diet to reduce your chances of developing heart disease, make it sodium. Sodium is relatively easy to reduce – just switch to a low-sodium salt product or a start experimenting with less salt-friendly recipes using other spices. Use a blood pressure checker to watch out for any higher than normal readings – a high reading could indicate a greater risk for heart disease. Lowering your sodium intake could bring your blood pressure down into a healthier range.
- Choose the right fats. Fats have a reputation they don’t quite deserve. There are high-fat foods out there that are actually incredibly good for you. It’s all about the type of fat you include in your diet. Stay far away from deep fried foods and highly processed meals with a high fat content, and switch them out for healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, fish, and nuts. These fats could improve your skin, boost your mental performance and help you stay more satiated for longer without damaging your heart.
- Boost your fibre intake. Fibre is an essential element of any healthy lifestyle. Without fibre, you’ll have less energy and your stomach will have difficulty digesting foods efficiently. A healthy amount of fibre in your diet will reduce your cholesterol levels, helping your heart defend itself from disease. Fibre is also a great tool for staying full while trying to lose weight. You can boost your fibre intake by stocking up on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
- Cook at home. It’s very easy to accidentally consume far too may calories as well as an overload of sodium when you order food or eat out at restaurants frequently. These establishments make a living out of producing tasty food, so they may not be cooking meals that are as good for your heart as the dishes you could make at home. Start experimenting with nutrient-rich, filling recipes from the comfort of your own kitchen so you have complete control over the types of fats in your meals, as well as the sodium content of your food.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Carrying an excessive amount of body fat on your frame will make it far more difficult to avoid heart disease. Boost your chances of staying well and disease-free by maintaining a weight in the recommended healthy range for your height. If you are overweight, there are plenty of ways to bring the number down. Practice portion control, ask for support from your doctor, and keep an eye on the macronutrient and energy components of your daily food intake to be sure you’re not taking in more than you can burn.