No matter how old you are, you need to think about your heart health. Bad eating habits can accumulate over time and lead to problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, and unhealthy cholesterol levels, all of which can lead to heart disease. You need to develop a healthful diet that you can follow for a lifetime.
Cut Unhealthy Fats
Fats are essential for good health, but you must eat the right kind. Unhealthy fats, such as trans fats and saturated fats, can raise bad cholesterol, which in turn can lead to clogged arteries. These bad fats are found in red meats, whole dairy foods, and some processed foods.
Once you know the sources of unhealthy fats, it's not hard to eliminate or reduce them. Substitute healthy sources of fats such as fish, nuts, and seeds. Sunflower, avocado, olive, and coconut oils are the healthiest oils to cook with.
Reduce Processed Foods
Highly processed foods are convenient but they are often made with high levels of sodium, sugar, and unhealthy fats. Some of these are snack foods, like potato chips and soda, but you may be surprised that foods marketed as healthy, such as granola bars and energy drinks, are also considered processed foods to avoid.
The best diet to eat is based on whole grains, lean proteins, and plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, such as the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet is great for your heart health and brain function. The foods are tasty and easy to prepare.
Get Enough Fiber
People think of fiber in terms of digestive health, but sufficient fiber intake is also good for your heart. It fills you up and helps you control your weight. As it goes through the digestive process, it helps to flush bad cholesterol and triglycerides from your system.
Eating enough fiber also contributes to lower blood pressure and reduces inflammation. Eating whole grains, fruits, and vegetables each day can provide you with enough fiber. You can also take a supplement containing psyllium.
Throughout your life, your daily habits can affect the health of your heart. Your diet is the foundation of a healthy heart. While a treat now and then won't hurt, on a daily basis, you should be consistent in focusing on fresh, whole foods and the nutrients they will give you to keep your heart and the rest of you in great shape.
Check out this article on other ingredients that can be harmful to your health!