Heart Healthy Eating

5 Food Types in a Diet That Improves Your Heart Health…

What is heart healthy eating? What does that entail? You might be wondering.

Eating any foods that are cholesterol-free or that contain very low cholesterol is part of heart healthy eating.

Cholesterol-free foods generally are beans, grains, nuts, fruits and vegetable foods. They mostly come from plants.

Dangers of Saturated Fat

My mum has always been very passionate about removing all animal fat removable from her boiled meat and chicken. I used to wonder why! Though she used to say it was bad, I didn’t understand it well enough still. Well, apart from the fact that we all knew from being told that “fat is bad” anyway.

She would boil meat or chicken. After that she would leave the stock from the boiled meat or chicken (which of course included lots of fat) to cool down. Sometimes she would put the bowl of stock into the fridge for a while, and then bring it back out.

By then the fat at the top would have solidified and kind of separated completely from the boiled chicken or meat stock. She would then remove the fat at the top and chuck in the bin. The top she removed was saturated fat, the type that raises your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol level and increases the chances of heart disease and stroke.

She would then be satisfied enough to cook her sauces or tomato stews with the meat or chicken stock.

I didn’t understand the ceremony surrounding it all then, but now, I do. More so, than ever.

Saturated fat can gather in the blood stream, clog the arteries and cause plaque to build up to block the arteries round the heart and brain. If theres a blood clot in any of those arteries with plaques around them, a heart attack occurs, or a stroke.

There are several pictures of what the arteries look like with built-up plaques and fatty deposits in them.

Study

A study reported in Choices For a Healthy Heart by Joseph C Piscatell, showed that 1 out of 3 children had a significant risk for a heart attack by age 14. Unbelievable isn’t it? Age 14!

They also found that artery blockage greater than 50% were found in children as young as age 7!

Eating Heart Healthy Foods

The following foods are good for the heart and contribute to effective heart healthy eating.

1. Vegetables

Vegetables are a special class of foods. They contain anti-oxidants that help to fight cancer. The bright coloured vegetables like carrots are great sources of vitamins and minerals that your body needs. If you don’t eat vegetables yet, now is the time to start.

2. Fruits

Fruits are especially great for digestion. They contain a lot of fibre. A lot of them provide vitamin A, vitamin C, and many other vitamins.

3. Beans, Lentils and Legumes

Beans are very good for your heart. Eating beans in your diet is part of heart healthy eating. It lowers your LDL cholesterol levels. It also is extremely protein rich and contains very little fat. Beans are also especially high in fibre.

I love beans. It’s so easy to cook as well and you can add a variety of special vegetables like tomatoes, red peppers, orange peppers, which also contain antioxidants etc.

4. Whole Grains

A bowl of oat porridge in the morning is always a good, good idea. In fact, it’s an excellent idea. Oat is also high in fibre and easy to digest.

Brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole wheat flour, whole wheat pasta and seeds are also great for the heart.

5. Soya Foods

Soya beans, soya milk and other soya foods will help to lower your cholesterol level. They all contribute to eating heart healthy.

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The information here is for general guidance only.
Talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet and lifestyle.


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