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Eating for a Healthy Heart

Posted on November 27, 2017 | No Comments on Eating for a Healthy Heart

The heart amazingly pumps 5,000 to 6,000 quarts of blood 1,000 times into our vital organs each day. No wonder, it gets worn out by fatigue, diet and other environmental factors. Ever wonder how you can have a healthy heart? Your food choices tremendously affect its performance. And you will be surprised how easy they are if you would only be willing to learn.

Below are some practical tips:

  • Try other cooking methods that do not use much fat like baking, broiling,    roasting,    grilling, steaming, poaching, stir-frying, sauteing or using a microwave.
  • Trim all visible fat off the meat before cooking.
  • When using beef, place browned ground beef in a colander and rinse with one to two quarts of very hot water to wash away as much fat as possible. Drain well before cooking.
  • Use poultry that have not been injected with fat or broth. Remove the skin before it is even cooked. When roasting, keep the skin until it is ready for carving.
  • Provide at least two servings of fish weekly. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which remove the blood clots for good blood flow.
  • Use skim or non-fat milk, low fat yogurt and cheese.
  • Chill soups, broths and stews so you can remove the hardened fat from them before using.
  • Use a non-stick pan to brown or fry foods.
  • Do not add flour, breadcrumbs, coating mixes or fat to the foods when preparing them.
  • Use dried beans, peas and lentils as meat substitutes. Remember that 1 cup of dried beans equals 1 matchbox slice lean meat. Eat at least six servings daily. Be sure to make Soya a part of your diet. Soy proteins lower cholesterol.
  • Dash your meals with at least five servings of vegetables and fruits. They are best eaten fresh and raw. Together with whole grains, they are rich in soluble fiber which lowers cholesterol. They are also good sources of phytochemicals*. If processed, choose those packed in their own juice.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Eat two vegetarian meals per week.
  • Savor “light” snacks like dried fruits, plain popcorn, sherbet, ice milk, angel food cake, low fat ice cream, unsalted pretzels and nuts.
  • One large whole egg can be substituted with two large egg whites. It is better to eat no more than four eggs a week.
  • Use low fat breads like whole wheat, rye, raisin and white bread, Italian and French breads.
  • Prefer low fat crackers like saltines, matzos, bread sticks, melba toast, flat bread and pretzels.
  • Flaxseed, canola, and soybean oil are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. They too prevent blood clots like fish oils.
  • Eliminate trans-fatty acids in your diet like donuts, crackers, fried foods in restaurants and commercially prepared food items.
  • Include nuts in your diet. Cashews, macadamia and pistachio are among the high-fat munchies you should eat in lesser amounts.
  • Watch out for the hidden fats in bakery products, snack foods and desserts.
  • Flavor your foods with herbs and spices. Use minimal salt or any sodium-rich flavorings. Salt, particularly its sodium content, can burden the heart and cause fluid overload.
  • Make it a habit to read nutrition labels.
  • Drink alcohol no more than one for women and two for men daily. Alcohol maybe good for the heart but increased consumption poses health threats as well.

Most importantly, knit a hearthealthy diet with lifestyle adjustments. Maintain a healthy weight and engage in an enjoyable and regular exercise. Quit smoking. Find time to have fun and relaxation. Surely, with all these tips, a healthy heart is within reach!

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