The Best Heart-Healthy Foods

The Best Heart-Healthy Foods

Healthy nutrition is often at the top of the list when you’re focusing on improving or maintaining your heart health. You’re not alone, though, if the many messages about what you should and shouldn’t eat leave you feeling overwhelmed and more than slightly confused.

The team at Premier Cardiology Consultants, with offices in New Hyde Park, Jamaica, and Forest Hills, New York, offers practical tips for incorporating the best heart-healthy foods into your daily routine.

Broaden your horizons

Low cholesterol eating has long been the focus of heart-healthy diets, and it remains an important component. Notably, however, a heart-healthy menu plan is about more than just reducing LDL or “bad” cholesterol in your daily food choices.

Foods that promote cardiac health include those that lower, or at least don’t play a role in increasing, your blood pressure, promote cellular health, and help prevent inflammation.

Leafy greens like kale and spinach, for instance, contain vitamins and minerals known to increase healthy function of the cells lining your blood vessels, reduce blood pressure, and help prevent stiffening or “hardening” of the arteries (atherosclerosis), a major instigator of heart disease.

Choosing from a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, as well as healthy fats such as olive oil, gets you out of the diet rut of counting cholesterol and provides menus that keep your taste buds interested.

Heart-healthy foods to consider

The list is long, but some heart-healthy foods to consider adding to your weekly shopping list include:

Eggs, according to the American Heart Association, are also part of a heart-healthy diet due to their high protein and vitamin impact and relatively low calorie count of about 78 per egg. Cook without butter or other animal fats to preserve their healthy nature.

Cook heart healthy

No matter your menu, if you don’t prepare and cook foods in a healthy manner, you’ve lost their benefits.

Packaged meals, for instance, may seem convenient, and many contain products that at least resemble vegetables, grains, and other healthy ingredients. Check the salt content, however. One serving often includes more than a full day’s sodium allowance.

Salt is one of those additives you need to monitor carefully for heart, kidney, and blood vessel health. Most experts recommend limiting your daily sodium intake to somewhere between 1500 and 2300 mg per day.

When you cook from basic ingredients rather than prepared mixes, you can switch out the salt for other flavorful spices.

Invest in a heart-healthy cookbook to learn more about a healthier, often much tastier way of cooking. You may find, once you’re familiar with the concept, that healthy cooking is quicker and even more convenient than building meals from prepared or packaged products.

For more information about heart-healthy nutrition or any of the comprehensive cardiac care services we offer, schedule an evaluation at Premier Cardiology Consultants today. Call the nearest office, or request an appointment online.

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