Healthy Food swaps for Heart Patients
When it comes to your heart health, it’s the simple, everyday choices you make that might have the most impact on your future well-being. Along with exercising frequently and avoiding smoking, your food is an essential way you can affect what your life looks like decades from now.
That’s why, no matter how old you are, it’s critical to reduce your intake of low-nutrient meals and replace them with meals that are excellent for your heart.
Choose nuts over chips.
Your need for a salty, crunchy snack can be too intense at times. However, that bag of chips is high in sodium and frequently contains harmful fats (saturated and trans fat), which contribute to plaque accumulation on the inner walls of your arteries and raise your risk of coronary heart disease. Furthermore, the refined carbohydrates present in chips might cause a blood sugar increase.
According to Ryan Fernando, “studies suggest that consuming nuts may have preventive advantages for the heart, but they are still heavy in calories.” “Just make sure you just eat a modest amount (approximately 1 ounce) and don’t overeat.”
Reach for coffee or tea, not soda.
Make a cup of coffee or a cup of green or black tea if you’re searching for an energy boost. They’re better than soda because they’re naturally sugar-free and contain heart-healthy antioxidants like chlorogenic acids, which protect cells from the damage that causes heart disease.
According to research, coffee and tea are high in antioxidants that are excellent for the heart, possibly lowering your cholesterol levels and lowering your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Switch from baked goods to dark chocolate.
Sweet snacks like cookies, cakes, and pastries are made with a variety of bad-for-you components including sugar and white flour, as well as trans-fat-laden butter, margarine, and hydrogenated oils. Instead, try a piece of dark chocolate to satiate your sweet desire. “Flavanols found in chocolate and its principal constituent, cocoa, help to decrease blood pressure and improve blood vessel function,” Ryan explains.
While dark chocolate still contains fat, sugar, and calories, it is a healthier dessert than most bakery options when consumed in moderation. According to research, consuming chocolate a few times a week can cut your risk of heart attack, stroke, or chest pain by 11%.
Broil or grill salmon instead of steak.
Steaks, burgers, and hot dogs are frequently the first things that come to mind when it comes to grilling season. However, those meats are heavy in saturated fat, which raises blood levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL-C), or “bad” cholesterol. High LDL cholesterol levels are a major risk factor for heart disease.
Which is the better option? Grill salmon or albacore tuna, and instead of a filet, go for a steak cut. (It’s a meaty, dense cut that doesn’t come apart on the grill.) Both forms of fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help you lose weight and prevent plaque development in your arteries.
Ditch white side dishes in favor of green ones.
Potatoes, noodles, rice, and bread are common accompaniments to meals. However, eating these starchy carbohydrates on a regular basis can raise blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels that are too high put you at risk for heart disease. Choose whole grain pasta, brown rice, or wild rice in small amounts if you want a starchy side dish.
A side plate of green vegetables can provide just as much — if not more — flavor. Kale, broccoli, spinach, and collard greens are high in fiber (which keeps you fuller for longer), low in carbs, and high in vitamins K, A, and C, as well as other minerals and nutrients. According to Isuk, eating more green vegetables can help lower cholesterol and reduce internal inflammation, two risk factors for heart disease.
You can improve your heart health by modifying just a fraction of the food choices you make every day. Also, if you make dietary adjustments, consult with a dietician.