Nutriton and Heart Health

  • Nutrition Plays a Key Role in your Heart’s Health
    Good nutrition and a fit heart go hand in hand. While it isn’t always easy, making simple dietary changes can greatly improve the condition of the heart. Discovering the foods and supplements that promote a strong heart is the first step toward making lifestyle adjustments that may improve your overall health. These simple suggestions can help you make lasting changes designed to strengthen the condition of your heart, increase energy levels, and enhance the quality of your life.

    Limit trans-fats and saturated fats
    High cholesterol in the blood system may lead to the buildup of atherosclerosis (arterial plaque). This buildup can drastically increase your chances for suffering a heart attack (or stroke). Recommendations from the American Heart Association suggest that your daily saturated fat intake should be less than 7% of total calorie consumption, in a daily diet that consists of approximately 2,000 calories. By reducing the amount of fats, such as margarine and butter in your diet, and by eating lean meat and certain kinds of fish, it is possible to significantly reduce your trans-fat and saturated fat intake.

    Eat more whole grains and fiber
    Foods high in fiber, such as whole grains and flaxseed, are capable of lowering blood cholesterol. Whole grain foods and fiber serve to improve your health by regulating blood pressure. Whole-grain couscous, high-fiber cereals, barley, and quinoa are some of the many delicious foods that can contribute to a healthier heart.

    Eat more fruits and vegetables
    Fruits and vegetables are a great source of minerals and vitamins. While rich in fiber and low in calories, they can create a feeling of satisfaction that can decrease your desire to eat foods like cheese, meat, and sweets, foods that tend to be high in fat. Having freshly washed vegetables and fruit on hand provides for quick, wholesome snacks.

    Portion control always helps
    The amount of food that you eat has a strong bearing on your overall health. Portion control means that you need to determine reasonable serving sizes throughout the day. Consuming appropriate portions of nutritious foods may help you to become physically fit.  Get in the habit of checking food labels. Many snack foods contain trans-fat, often disguised as partially-hydrogenated fat. Monounsaturated fats, like canola and olive oil, and polyunsaturated fats (contained in many seeds and nuts) provide a much better source of fat for a heart-healthy diet. A meal plan that is based on moderation may be your key to strong heart.

    Best foods/supplements for your heart’s health
    It is estimated that approximately 20 billion dollars is spent annually on herbal remedies and supplements. This list includes supplements that have been recommended to improve the condition of the heart. Of these, flaxseed, fish oils, and certain vitamins and minerals may be beneficial. Other supplements that could benefit your heart include plant sterols, green-tea extract, niacin, fiber, B-Complex vitamins, Policosanol, and Coenzyme Q10.
    However, before making any dietary changes, it is strongly recommended that you consult with your medical provider. The value of supplements will depend on your individual needs. Dosage and the strength of active ingredients will differ, so it is best to speak with a professional who understands the key role of food and nutrition for your heart’s health.