A Heart-healthy Diet and Why you Should be on One
In the United States, about 600,000 people die of heart disease every year. That’s 1 in every 4 deaths. Cardiovascular diseases are not a joke. Like many other diseases, heart disease will become aggravated from a poor diet and unhealthy lifestyle.
However, a heart-healthy diet will help decrease a person’s risk of developing heart disease and other heart problems associated with a poor diet. The Mayo Clinic provides a list detailing how to create a heart-healthy diet.
Use this guide for a heart-healthy diet
Control portion size. Use proper serving sizes on nutrition labels and also be aware that restaurant portions are often too big—they’ve been known to serve one person a portion size big enough for 2-3 people. Can you say weight gain?
Eat more fruits and vegetables. These foods contain vital nutrients as well as substances known to prevent heart disease. Keep fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator so you have them on hand when you need a snack, and choose main dishes that include fruits and vegetables as the main ingredients like stir-fries and salads—that way you’re getting your fruits and veggies fix in a healthy and delicious meal. According to the American Heart Association, you should eat at least 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day.
Choose whole grains. Fiber and other nutrients in whole grains also help fight heart disease and keep blood pressure in check. Try to eat at least 3 1 ounce servings of whole grains a day such as couscous, quinoa and ground flaxseed for these heart-healthy benefits.
Limit unhealthy fats and cholesterol. High cholesterol can cause buildup in arteries and can also lead to heart attack and stroke. Choose lean meats, reduce intake of saturated fats and use oils like olive oil and canola oil to protect your heart from cardiovascular diseases.
Select low-fat proteins. A heart-healthy diet includes lean meat, poultry and fish. Opt for low-fat dairy and egg whites or egg substitutes. Salmon, mackerel and herring have omega-3 fatty acids that have many health benefits and can also lower blood fats. The American Heart Association says that you should eat at least 2 3.5 ounce servings of fish a week. Beans, peas and lentils are another heart-healthy protein choice.
Reduce sodium intake. Limit processed foods which usually contain higher levels of salt because sodium is a big contributor to cardiovascular disease. To be on the safe side, you should limit your sodium to less than 1,500 mg a day.
Plan ahead by making daily menus. Plan for variety and pay attention to portion size.
Allow for indulgences. Occasional treats will help keep a heart-healthy diet on track.
This guide paired with regular physical activity should not only help you achieve a healthy-heart, but through a healthy-heart diet, you should reach your weight loss goals in no time.
But what if I don’t have any time for a heart-healthy diet?
For some people it’s hard to stay on track with a healthy diet plan. It’s not because they don’t want to or because they lack the proper motivation, but some people just have hectic schedules and a lot of other priorities that they must balance—like their family, children, school, etc—the list can become endless.
BistroMD understands that finding the time to go to the grocery store and cooking healthy meals can be stressful so let us do all of the work for you. We pair fresh, healthy food with the right vitamins and nutrients needed for successful weight loss. With bistroMD, you’re not only going to lose the weight, but through a successful diet with our program and regular physical activity, you're setting up the foundation for a healthy lifestyle for years to come—and your heart will thank you.
We have a men and a women’s program with the option to receive five-or-seven-days’ worth of healthy meals delivered to your door. The seven day option comes with the My Night feature, your one night a week to just kick back and relax.
The two programs range from $130-$160 and EATS, our essential and tasty snacks are just $1.50 per snack. Women receive two snacks per day and men receive three snacks per day.