HEART HEALTHY EATING
By Jacqueline A. Eubany, MD, FACC FHRS, author of ‘Women & Heart Disease: The Real Story’
Heart healthy eating is very important in improving your heart health. Recent studies have shown up to a 30% reduction in risk of developing heart disease in people who follow these eating habits. It is not about being on a diet, but more about picking the healthier food options that are better for your cardiovascular system. The more practice you having picking healthier choices, the more comfortable you get doing so, to the point where it becomes a normal habit.
Eating a heart healthy diet can lower your total cholesterol as well as lower your bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) and increase your good cholesterol (HDL). It also lowers your blood pressure and keeps your weight under control.
What does a heart healthy diet consist of?
1. Several servings of fruits and vegetables a day, favoring the fruits and vegetables that have a high micronutrient content. These tend to be the darker green, deep orange vegetables like collard greens, spinach, carrots, and bell peppers.
2. Diets that are low in sodium (or salt). You want to avoiding processed foods that have a high salt content, use salt substitutes and limit your daily salt intake to 1 teaspoon a day.
3. Drink alcohol in moderation, which for women is one 5-oz glass of wine a day.
4. Choosing healthier fats like olive oil and/or canola oil.
5. Two servings of fish a week, and if you are allergic to fish you can take omega-3 fatty acid supplements.
In conclusion, eating a heart healthy diet is extremely important for your cardiovascular health. It can reduce your risk of developing heart disease by up to 30%. This, plus increasing your physical activity level can further decrease your risk. Until next time, bon appetite!
Dr. Jacqueline Eubany is a board certified cardiologist and electrophysiologist based out of Orange County, California. She is the author of ‘Women and Heart Disease: The Real Story’, and a Big Blend Radio expert contributor. Learn more at www.WomenandHeartDiseaseBook.com