Diet and lifestyle are the major contributors to heart diseases like heart attack and stroke. Obesity and weight gain causes high blood pressure and high cholesterol which damages the healthy functioning of the heart. Type 2 diabetes also increases the risk of heart diseases. Hence, diet control is the primary step in the care for heart diseases. Limit the calorie intake and consume a well balanced and nutritious diet. Consult a dietician and draw a diet chart that suits your lifestyle and dietary preferences.
A Healthy Diet For Heart Disease Should Include
Complex carbohydrates and Fiber
Fruits and vegetables are the most heart friendly food groups. Include at least 4 to 5 serving of fruits and vegetables per day. They are rich in fiber and help maintain a healthy heart. Oats is also rich in dietary fiber and is a good breakfast option for heart patients. Avoid fruits that are high in sugar content like mangoes, chikku, jackfruits and starchy vegetables like potatoes, yam, and peas. Green leafy vegetables are ideal for heart patient as they are rich in vitamins and minerals and are a good source of iron. Iron reduces the risk of anemia by helping the production of red blood cells. A healthy blood circulation helps manage a healthy heart. Whole grain foods, brown rice, multi grain foods and ragi are rich in complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates give a feeling of full stomach and hence you can limit the food intake. They are ideal to promote weigh loss as they reduce the hunger pangs and urge for compulsive eating. Weight gain is a major risk for a diabetic as the excess weight adds pressure on the heart and it has to pump more blood to continue the body functions.
Avoid Trans fats, hydrogenated vegetable oils and saturated fats. Opt for unsaturated oil like olive and canola oil. Choose grilled, baked and roasted food over fried and oily foods. Nuts like almonds, pecans walnuts and hazel nuts are rich in vitamin E and good fats. Vitamin E promotes healthy skin and eyes. Good fats in the nuts are essential for the functioning of the nervous system. Fishes are rich in omega 3 fatty acids which are beneficial for heart diseases. Eat at least 3 serving of fishes per week to promote a healthy heart. Seafood like prawns and crabs are high in fat content, so avoid them or consume them in moderation.Milk and milk products are rich in calcium and vitamins, so opt for skimmed and fat free milk products.
Lean meats like chicken and turkey should be preferred over red meat. Avoid organ meats like kidney and liver and processed meat like sausages and lunch meats. Prefer skinless meat and trim off any fats that are visible in your meat portions. Include legumes, soy and pulses in your diet.
Alcohol is a big deterrent to promoting a healthy heart. Avoid alcohol if you are under treatment for heart diseases and consume in moderation not more than a glass per day if you are at high risk for heart disease. Smoking also clogs the arteries and creates a strain for the heart, so avoid it at all costs. A healthy diet and exercise keeps your heart robust and healthy.