A Brief Guide to a Healthy Heart

Heart with Muscles

From the getgo, stay away from sodium. If you are overweight avoid sugar, specifically bread and soda, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. According to CDC statistics, more than 600,000 people in the US die due to heart-related diseases annually.  

With smart and healthy lifestyle choices, you can take care of your health. Let’s have a look at some of the measures which should be adopted by every individual to preserve the wellbeing of your heart and other elements of your cardiovascular system. 

Addition of Fiber-Based Foods

Many people refer to fiber-rich food when they are suffering from digestive issues. However, a better approach is to make fiber-based foods a part of your daily staple diets. There are two noteworthy benefits of fiber-rich foods.

  • They help in reducing the levels of cholesterol. It’s now a well-established fact that increased levels of cholesterol can lead to multiple cardiovascular issues.
  • Fruits and vegetables rich in fiber make you feel satiated, this means you will not get troubled by cravings every hour and consequently, will be protected from an ill habit of overeating.
heart beating graph
Photo by get4net – yayimages.com

Aside from fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, chickpeas, and lentils are also a good source of dietary fiber. Also, munch on some raspberries and pears and cook some whole wheat paster while you’re at it.

Cutting Down the Consumption of Cholesterol

Cholesterol, an organic lipid molecule, is the main antagonist in heart-related health issues. Therefore, it is imperative to have a strict approach regarding its consumption. Cholesterol is found nearly in every animal-based food item so you have to take care of the consumption of all such dietary products.

From meat to dairy products to poultry and eggs, cholesterol is a constituent of all the meal items prepared from these ingredients. There is a widespread misconception that low-fat and lean cuts of meat are low in cholesterol. This is not the case whatsoever because you can get high levels of cholesterol from foods termed low-fat.

Therefore, it is always necessary to read and search the nutritional value of every animal-based food item before its consumption to keep the trail of cholesterol intake. In a healthy dietary routine, the daily intake of cholesterol must not exceed 300 milligrams.

Be especially wary of red meat, as there are a lot of health issues that can be associated with it.

Include Fewer Fats in Your Diet  

Tree of FruitIn the craze of losing weight, many people go on to refrain entirely from the consumption of fats. This is not a healthy behavior because fat is one of the three basic macronutrients that are needed by the human body.

However, keeping their levels low in your diet and grains differentiating good fats from bad fats is the key to remain heart-healthy.

Unsaturated fats are considered healthy fats while saturated and trans fats are termed bad due to their detrimental effects. There are several natural food items, which contain saturated fats. The inclusion of avocados, peanut butter (natural), salmon, olive oil and nuts in moderate levels can fulfill the healthy fat requirements of the body.

On the other hand, greasy cuts of meat, fat-ridden dairy products, and various processed foods are rich in saturated and trans fats. Keep in mind that trans fats are the most detrimental variant of this macronutrient, particularly for the heart. Try to exclude them completely from your diet. Sometimes they are labeled as hydrogenated oils on food packages. So, carefully read the labels of processed food before buying them.

More Seafood

Salmon Filet Salmon is an excellent choice for your diet routine and if you choose wild salmon, it’s even better.

Adding more fish to your diet on a weekly or semi-weekly basis is a smart move to maintain the health of your heart. On one hand, they provide a good substitute by replacing beef and lamb meat.

Moreover, seafood is full of omega-3 fatty acids. Don’t get confused by the name of this unsaturated fat because it is actually very beneficial for the well-being of the heart and cardiovascular system.

Routine consumption of omega-3 fatty acids helps in lowering the levels of triglycerides in the blood, which consequently decelerates the process of plaque accumulation in the arteries. With this improvement in your cardiovascular system, you are actually reducing the chances of sudden heart attacks. Fish oil supplements also help in maintaining your blood pressure at healthier levels.  

Weight Loss

Woman showing how much fat she lostEven though all the above-discussed measures ultimately help you to lose weight, you can also take a proactive approach to maintain your BMI.

Engrave it in your mind that obesity is a root cause of many critical diseases including heart-related illnesses. By adding more physical activity to your daily schedule and by having healthy food options, you can control your weight. It’s as simple as that.

Reduction of Alcohol Consumption

Happy friends toasting each other with beerAlthough red wine contains antioxidants that help in the detoxification of the body, most alcohol-based beverages are known for their detrimental effects on human health. Apart from the liver, the heart is the second most affected vital organ from excessive drinking.

Too much alcohol in your daily routine leads to hypertension (link alcohol article), it also increases the levels of triglycerides in the bloodstream. Moreover, your daily calorie count can also be disrupted by excessive drinking.

Therefore, try to cut down your alcohol consumption for the sake of your liver and your heart. An average-sized serving is deemed as moderate daily consumption of alcohol.

Smoking: Don’t Reduce, Quit!

Illustration of Cigarette onto of lung with heartbeatHere, we are just stating the obvious that smoking can compromise the health of your heart. Other than the frightening conditions of mouth and lung cancer, smoking can also inflict its detrimental effect on your cardiovascular wellbeing as well. And now with the addition of vaping devices, you are not much better off. 

Regular smoking leads to the construction of blood vessels which in turn makes it difficult for the heart to properly perform its vital function of pumping oxygenated blood to each and every part of the body.  

For the well-being of your heart, the well-being of your mind is equally important. High levels of stress are linked to high blood pressure and increased levels of blood cholesterol. Moreover, stressed individuals try to cope with their condition through unhealthy lifestyle choices, which also leads to negative effects on the heart and cardiovascular system.