Eat Your Way to Heart Health

Posted on 02/28/2014 by | AARP Texas | Comments

By Curt Buckley

Eating well is another paramount component to staying heart-healthy. There are three dietary suggestions that should greatly improve your heart health. Focus on adding more fruits and vegetables, increasing your grain and fiber intake, and reducing the amount of saturated fat and trans fats you consume.

  1. Eating more fruits and vegetables will increase your bodies’ amounts of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. In addition, having additional fruits and veggies in your diet will leave less room for items high in calories and fat content like snack foods which increase your risk of heart problems. Also, make sure your fruits and veggies (canned, frozen or fresh) are low in sodium, heavy syrup and sugar content.
  2. Adding healthy whole grains and wheat to your diet can greatly improve your fiber levels. Fiber is a vital part of regulating your blood pressure and heart heath. Try staying away from white (refined) flour in things like white bread, cakes, doughnuts, and egg noodles. Among other tips, the Mayo Clinic says just adding a teaspoon of ground-up flaxseed to a yogurt or oatmeal can lower your total cholesterol.
  3. Restricting how much saturated and trans fats you consume can prove essential in keeping a healthy blood pressure and lowering you risk of heart disease. You can reduce these fats in your diet by curbing your use of solid fats (butter, margarine and shortening) in your cooking, serving and eating. Look at taking the extra time to cut the fat off your meat or consuming meats containing less than 10 percent fat. Also, when cooking, olive and canola oils are much healthier alternatives to butter.

Incorporating these tips into your diet will ensure that you are limiting your chances of developing heart disease. Be sure to join us tomorrow for our last segment on maintaining a healthy heart.

This is one in a series of posts on heart health. Find the others here: