5 foods to boost your heart health

5 foods to boost your heart health

Next time you make your shopping list, don’t forget to follow your heart.

A heart-healthy diet makes a big difference when it comes to lowering the risk of heart disease. main killer across the United States. everyone from American Heart Association to me US Department of Health and Human Services She recommends making specific food choices to support heart health. Since heart-healthy foods can reduce other potential cardiovascular problems — such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol — it’s worth keeping in mind as you plan your weekly meals.

Keep reading to find out what foods to look out for and what a heart-healthy diet generally looks like.

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What is a heart healthy diet?

Studies have revealed two things: the foods that are more dangerous to your heart and the foods that strengthen them. Fortunately, you are not about to be hit by a bunch of bent balls. The best foods for heart health are the ones you probably already think are healthy. Likewise, heart-unhealthy foods are probably already on your radar for doing your body no good.

Before we dive in here, let’s say: everything in moderation. Unless you are already You know you have a heart problemYou don’t need to stop eating any foods or make drastic changes. We’re not saying you can never have another pat of bacon or open another soda. Instead, paying attention to what a heart-healthy diet looks like can help you incorporate more of these foods into your meals.

Now, let’s talk about the details. According to the AHA and the Department of Health, a heart-healthy diet is rich in:

  • Produce
  • lean proteins
  • Complex carbohydrates rich in fiber
  • healthy fats

A diet full of colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, protein and healthy fats will give your body the fiber, vitamins, and minerals it needs to support heart health.

Bright rainbow spectrum of products on a plate.

David Malan / Getty Images

Conversely, if you’re trying to promote cardiovascular health, you’ll want to limit your intake of the following:

  • trans fats
  • Saturated fat
  • Processed meats (for example, luncheon meats, salami, sausages)
  • excess salt
  • excess sugar
  • Refined carbohydrates (eg, white bread and snacks)
  • red meat
  • excess alcohol

If a lot of your favorite things are on the list of least heart-healthy, don’t panic. You can still include it in your diet (unless your doctor says otherwise). Just make sure you don’t have these foods at every meal, and try to add as many heart-healthy foods into your day as you can.

Heart healthy foods

A person in a long brown dress browses a grocery aisle.

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If you want to feel good about what your next grocery trip will do for your heart health, you can get items in these specific categories.

1. Fruits and vegetables

Remember the food pyramid from back in the day? was on to something. Your body benefits from eating a lot of produce.

That’s because vegetables and fruits carry a lot of nutritional density per bite. Bananas and sweet potatoes provide potassium, A key mineral for heart health. Cruciferous vegetables may help Preventing clogged arteries. Leafy greens provide fiber, which can help with this Lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.

Long story short, the more you produce, the better. And if fresh produce just doesn’t fit your budget or lifestyle, don’t worry. You can get a lot of nutritional benefits from frozen, dried, and canned options. Just make sure it’s low in sodium.

2. Whole grains

Not all carbohydrates are bad. Refined carbohydrates like those in white bread circulate through your body, and they usually do more harm than good. But complex carbohydrates, like the ones you’ll find Whole grain productsIt provides fiber, which we already mentioned as a heart-healthy booster.

Additionally, they often come packed with vitamins and minerals such as iron, selenium, thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), folic acid (vitamin B9) and magnesium. If you’re looking for a heart-healthy diet, choose products that have whole grains in their ingredient list. In addition, complex carbohydrates can also be found in beans, potatoes, peas, and corn.

Fish tacos on a plate, with tortillas, corn and fresh cilantro.

GSPictures/Getty Images

3. Lean and plant-based proteins

While some proteins — like red and processed meats — can be tough on your heart, others top the list of heart-healthy foods. The key here is to look for plant protein, lean animal protein, and fish. Experts recommend Mix up your protein sources. So you have a lot of options, stock up on:

  • lentil
  • Bean
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • tofu
  • Fish, especially those high in omega-3 fatty acids
  • egg
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Poultry
  • seeds

Replace some of your red meat and bacon with the above options and they’ll work for your heart’s good.

4. Healthy fats

You might think fats cause heart problems, but it’s all about Writes of fat. While trans and saturated fats have been linked to cardiovascular problems in many studies, your body, including your heart, Needs healthy fats. You can get them from fish, nuts, and seeds along with avocados and moderate amounts of vegetable oils such as:

  • olive oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Sunflower
  • Soy oil
  • canola oil
  • corn oil
  • safflower oil

As a general rule, if fats are solid at room temperature, they are likely saturated. If it is liquid, then most likely it falls into the unsaturated variety. Think butter (Controversial for health) vs. olive oil (definitely part of a heart healthy diet).

Pour sesame oil into a small dish.

SUNGMIN/Getty Images

5. Heart check for foods

The American Heart Association has Certain approved foods For a healthy heart and give them Heart check stamp, which you can find in some food packages. Once you learn this seal, it can make it easier to stock your cart with heart-healthy foods.

For best results, pair it with your heart-healthy diet Other heart health boosters Such as regular exerciseAnd the Sleeps and stress management techniques. It may also be helpful to know your blood type and what does that mean specific risk of cardiovascular disease.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

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