If you are like most Americans, you’ve heard about the importance of eating a low fat diet to reduce the risk of heart disease. While that is important, you may not know that there is more to a heart healthy diet than how much fat you eat. Recently released guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association outline lifestyle and nutrition habits that can help reduce your risk of heart disease. Below are some of the recommendations outlined in the report.
Foods to eat more of:
Fruits and Vegetables – The research is clear – people who eat more fruits and vegetables have lower rates of heart disease and stroke. So, enjoy the natural sweetness of fruit for dessert. A bowl of fresh berries, mango and banana slices or apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon can be a fresh and sweet end to any meal. Enjoy a low sodium vegetable soup (or vegan chili) with lunch and throw a handful of beans on your salad.
Whole Grains – Whole grains are good sources of fiber so including food like oatmeal, brown rice and quinoa. Whole grains will help feel full and can help keep your cholesterol levels in check!
Healthy Fats – When used in place of saturated fat and trans fats, these oils can help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Use olive oil, Canola oil, sunflower oil and foods like avocados, nuts and seeds. In addition to being good for you, they can add a lot of flavor and texture to your meals.
These tips really describe a Mediterranean diet or the DASH diet, both are thought to be healthful plans for reducing the risk of heart disease.