If you were to ask the average person about habits they’d like to improve, nutrition would undoubtedly be at the top of the list.
We hear so much about eating healthy that it’s becoming embedded in our consciousness as a top priority. There are only a couple of issues stopping us from adopting a healthy diet. First of all, it’s much easier to eat junk food — it’s often cheaper and faster to eat food that just isn’t good for you.
Secondly, there is a clash of information on specific diets and what ultimately constitutes a healthy diet, so it’s always a good idea to discuss a dietary change with your doctor before you implement it.
However, if you’re interested in how improving your nutrition helps your heart health in particular, that’s a topic on which everyone can agree.
Nutrition and heart disease risk factors
If we take a look at risk factors that connect to heart disease, it’s noticeable that many of them are directly related to the quality of our nutrition. It often isn’t the only factor, but diet, itself, is significant enough to make a substantial positive impact on your health when you change it for the better.
Poor nutrition and lifestyle habits mostly cause hypertension (high blood pressure) and atherosclerosis (plaque build-up on artery walls.) Since both are also the building blocks of most cardiovascular diseases, the connection is too important to ignore.
Foods to avoid
Doctors and research scientists agree that certain foods can harm your heart health by causing high cholesterol and hypertension. A diet high in saturated and trans fats is generally considered a disaster waiting to happen. Avoid too much butter and fried food, as well as skin and outside fat on your meat.
Another item to avoid is sodium, so try cutting down on salt and especially snacks. Finally, added sugar and excessive alcohol are also considered to be quiet heart killers, so limit their intake.
What should you eat?
There’s an abundance of healthy and delicious food options to choose. When it comes to fats, foods that are rich in monounsaturated fats would be a good choice. Replace regular vegetable oil with olive oil, and incorporate more avocado in your diet.
Other fruits and vegetables all make the list, as well as whole-grain pasta, cereal and bread. Proteins such as lean meats, fish, poultry, beans and nuts are also beneficial, as well as low-fat dairy. Additionally, natural cholesterol supplements may make up for some of your bad nutritional habits while improving digestion and your cholesterol levels.
Keeping your heart healthy with proper nutrition habits is entirely possible. It is always the right time to commit to making a beneficial change for yourself. Start eating healthier and reap the benefits by feeling better in your body.