In times when stress and a poor diet based on calorie foods and high fat affect our heart and develop cardiovascular conditions, we are required to give the necessary attention to one of the most important organs of our body, the hearth. This includes not only a healthy diet, but exercise, that strengthens its function of pumping blood throughout our body effectively.
First, it is crucial that your diet is fat free; forget the commercial mayonnaise, fast foods, ice cream, trans fats, soda and excess carbohydrates like bread and fries.
Red meat provides protein but we should moderate consumption, like chicken. If we are going to eat it, try to take off all visible fat.
To keep your heart healthy, it is advisable to avoid the consumption of oil, instead, it is better to cook food steaming, baking, grilling, roasting or sautéing. If we must fry, do it with olive oil. Keep it on low temperature.
When baking, use only half the oil the recipe tells, and replace the other half with water or juice. Use bananas, tofu, apple sauce or egg substitutes.
What you should eat
Experts recommend eating an apple or drink its juice, as it influences the oxidation of bad cholesterol and helps prevent the accumulation of fat in the veins and arteries. The rind of this fruit is rich in antioxidants, which prevent premature aging.
Fish are also good food for the health of our heart; it has high concentrations of Omega 3 that helps lower triglyceride levels in the blood. Try tuna, salmon, sardines and mackerel. It is best to consume at least twice a week.
Grapefruit is also recommended, being rich in antioxidants and contains soluble fiber, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease. The ideal is to eat half a grapefruit for breakfast at least four times a week. Legumes are also present in this list; they help lower bad cholesterol and are rich in fiber. You should eat a bowl of beans or lentils once a day.
Speaking of fiber, remember that this component can be found only in plant foods. A vegetarian diet that includes fruits, vegetables, breads and cereals, and pulses will be high in fiber. The kind of fiber is found in oats, carrots, dried fruit and vegetables helps reducing the level of cholesterol in the blood.
Time to buy
Now that you know all this, when you go to the supermarket remember to buy food that is good to your health and your heart. For this, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Buy more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pulses, and if desired, low-fat dairy products.
- Buy skim or 1% cream milk instead of 2% or whole milk.
- Buy fresh or frozen vegetables instead of vegetables prepared with cheese, cream or butter sauces.
- Carefully read the labels on the products you want to buy and finally choose products that are low in fat.
Don’t forget cardio exercises, such as jogging, long walks, climb stairs, or if you prefer to get on an elliptical trainer.
Note that physical inactivity is a major risk factor in developing heart disease.
Other factors that lead to heart disease are related to the consumption of tobacco, alcohol, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Therefore you must do everything possible to reduce this risk with the recommendations described, maintaining a healthy lifestyle through a healthy diet, exercise and abandoning harmful habits like smoking.