A heart healthy diet consists of foods devoid of Trans and saturated fats and comprising of mono-saturated and poly-saturated fats.
Heart Healthy Diet is cholesterol free
Cholesterol is the biggest enemy of heart and so it has to be minimized in your diet plan. It clogs the arteries of the heart leading to the lower blood supply to it and ultimately to the heart failure or cardiac arrest. A heart healthy diet consists of foods devoid of Trans and saturated fats and comprising of mono-saturated and poly-saturated fats.
Limit the Trans-fats & saturated fats in diet help avoid the disease arteriosclerosis
Butter, Lard, Bacon, Gravy, Cream-sauce, Nondairy-creamers, Hydrogenated margarine & shortening, Cocoa butter, Coconut, palm, cottonseed and palm-kernel oils all containing trans and unsaturated fats should be definitely avoided or minimized from your diet while the foods like Olive oil, Canola oil, Margarine labeled “trans-fat-free”, Cholesterol-lowering margarine or buttery spreads, such as Benecol that have mono-saturated and poly-saturated fats.
Food labels are important signals of high fats
Food labels on the market foods say “reduced fat” that means they are replacing the fat with the oils containing even dangerous trans- fats. Some also use the word “partially hydrogenated” label to indicate the usage of trans- fats in them.
Low fat protein foods should replace the high fat protein foods
Following low cholesterol foods are to be consumed in the diet to achieve the low fat protein.
- Skim or low-fat (1 percent) milk
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese
- Egg whites or egg substitutes
- Fish, especially fatty, cold-water fish, such as salmon
- Skinless poultry
- Soybeans and soy products, for example, soy burgers
- Lean ground meats
- Beans ,peas and lentils
These foods should replace the following high fat protein foods we use in our diet regularly
- Whole milk, Full-fat milk, cream, butter
- Organ meats, such as liver
- Egg yolks
- Fatty, marbled meats
- Cold cuts, lunch meats
- Frankfurters, hot dogs and sausages
- Fried, breaded, canned foods not low in fat
Including fruits and vegetables in your diet is good for your heart
They are lower in calories and are rich in fiber. They provide a good supply of vitamins and minerals and they contain substance that helps to reduce the cardiovascular diseases. They make you fill up fast and more for a longer duration of time diminishing your cravings for the snacks and high fat food gradually.
Whole grains are the healthy heart replacements of white flour and sugary foods
Choose the following high fiber foods that are rich in vitamins and mineral content while avoiding the white flour and sugary foods for a healthy heart.
- Whole-wheat flour
- Whole-grain bread, preferably 100 percent whole-wheat or 100 percent whole-grain bread
- High-fiber cereal with 5 or more grams of fiber per serving
- Brown rice
- Whole-grain pasta
- Oatmeal (steel-cut or regular)
- Ground flaxseed
Foods to avoid in your daily diet plan:
- White rice
- Frozen waffles
- Doughnuts, muffins
- Biscuits, rolls, cornbread
- White breads
- Granola bars
- Cakes, pies,
- Egg noodles, pastas, boxed noodles
- bagged or movie popcorn
- Potato chips, corn chips, snack crackers
Reducing the salt intake can actually lower your blood pressure
All canned, processed, frozen and prepared foods contain high content of salts to improve the flavor of the food. These salts are harmful for the health of the heart as they increase the blood pressure which rupturing the artery walls which ultimately can lead to building up of plaque and heart failure. These foods need to be replaced with the fresh foods and soups or you may also choose salt substitutes, herbs and spices or choose reduced-salt prepared foods.
Moderate eating leads to healthy heart
Keeping your diet to a minimum or eating in moderation is the key to health as it leads to intake of lesser fats and calories in your body. You can defy this rule in once a week when you eat your favorite candy but do not go overboard in eating the daily food to keep your healthy heart.
Action is the key after the plan
Plan your daily diet with total emphasis on vegetables, fruits and whole grains, choose lean protein and limit high-fat and salty foods.
What are the other HDL boosters that can be included in your plan?
- Alcohol is one such booster that can help you to attain the High HDL levels but in moderation only as its higher amount leads to the reversal of positive effects.
- Exercise helps you to get high HDL. Even 120 minutes of exercise per week is enough and with every 10 minute increase the effects will be higher.
- Dark chocolate was also found to have positive effects on HDL cholesterol levels, but again, moderation is key.
What should I choose between Trans fats and saturated fats for a healthy heart?
Saturated fats like meat and dairy products are harmful for the heart as they contain the harmful fats that increase the levels of LDL in the blood but they also have the protein and calcium in them which are in fact beneficial to the heart and body in general.
Trans fats like hydrogenated fats in butter, oils or all other processed food s available in the market have nothing beneficial in them which can be good for the heart health.
Therfore saturated fats should be preferred than the Trans fats.