Healthy Living – Shortcuts to a Heart Healthy Diet

Not all of us eat healthy, be it from a lack of discipline or sheer love for junk food. One thing to remember when you are overloading your body with junk food is that while the palate loves it, it is not doing much good to the heart. You are not doing yourself a favor by eating that lip smacking dessert that is loaded with calories. If you want to keep your heart in ship shape, then a healthy diet and good cardio activity is the way to go. What you need to do is to control your cravings and switch to a heart healthy diet. We tell you the shortcuts to a heart healthy diet here.

1. Shun the fries and burgers 

Shun fried foods healthy heart diet

Deep fried oily food tastes really great, but just for once imagine all the saturated fats and the starch from the food settling inside your stomach and on the walls of your arteries. Do you want to subject your body to that kind of hollow nutrition? So the first thing to do is to cut down on the junk food intake. We are not asking you not to ever eat fries again. Simply limit it to an indulgence once a week.

2. Cut down meat intake 

Every ounce of meat that you eat adds saturated fats into the body. Stay away from red meat and take to lean meats instead if you absolutely cannot give up meat. Salmon is a good option, rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Get your cholesterol levels checked. If your cholesterol levels are above 200, then we suggest you go the vegetarian way.

3.  Snack Healthy 

healthy snack heart healthy diet

Stay away from processed snacks like cookies and wafers. Do not snack on anything with more than 2 gm of saturated fat per serving. When you are tempted to eat something between meals, snack on heart healthy foods like walnuts and almonds which are rich in unsaturated fatty acids or oatmeal which is rich in niacin, fibers and omega 3 fatty acids. If you are craving for something sweet, try a cup of yogurt with fruits. It has healthy bacteria that are great for your immunity and healthy digestive system.

Read about 10 amazing health benefits of Almonds here

4. Whole Grains

Stock up on whole grains and stay away from refined foods. People eating whole grains have been known to be lean and healthier. Whole grains like  oats, wheat, barley, brown rice, millets and quinoa are rich in antioxidants and phytosterols that protect against coronary disease. A fiber rich diet  comprising whole grains automatically translates into lower heart risks. Fibers can also help reduce the risk from bad cholesterol.

5.  Watch your Drink 

Benefits of Red Wine

If you drink, then make sure you keep it moderate. It is advisable to drink wine when compared to any other kind of alcohol if you are looking to keep your heart healthy. Moderate alcohol consumption might improve your good cholesterol levels and also prevent thinning of blood, but that is about it. The word to remember is moderation. And since we are on the topic of drinks, one drink that is excellent for heart health is a cup of green tea. People who drink 12 ounces of green tea everyday are known to have 50% lesser risk of heart disease than non green tea drinkers. So go ahead and drink that cup of green tea to keep your heart healthy.

Read more about benefits of red wine here

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About the author

Aparna Anand

After a stint in an MNC in Bangalore, Aparna has now started doing what she loves the most- writing. Travelling and cooking come a close second and third. She lives in Mumbai with her husband.