Healthy eating for a healthy heart

We all know that a balanced diet and consistent exercise is the go-to when it comes to  keeping your heart healthy and strong. That’s a broad piece of advice that certainly needs specifics to ensure you’re taking the right steps towards helping your heart work in the most efficient way possible. According to clinicians, here are the key habits you should incorporate into your daily life to keep your powerhouse pumping for as long as it can.

 

  1. Reduce Your Sugar Intake

 

An excess in sugar in your diet can lead to weight gain and that undoubtedly causes a raise in blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause an array of diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases. If sugar is your kryptonite then simply choose natural sugars over artificial ones instead! Switch your puddings and cakes to fresh fruits, you don’t have to quite cold turkey, just be mindful of what you consume.

  1. Cut Down On The Salt

 

If you’re consuming a diet high in salt, it’s likely that your blood pressure might dangerously rise too! This means being at risk of a stroke or heart disease. The recommended maximum daily intake of salt is just 6g for adults and 3g for children (2.5g of salt is the equivalent of 1g of sodium). Keep in mind next time you’re shopping and cooking, be sure to check the labels and not overdo it in the kitchen! 

  1. Limit Your Saturated Fat Intake

 

Saturated fat can be found in butter, margarine, ghee, fatty meats, dairy fats and processed foods. It is a cause for concern when you consume too much of these because it can lead to an increase in cholesterol levels. That’s a big red flag for your heart so next time you’re out grocery shopping, think about switching to semi-skimmed milk or dairy foods that are low in fat, choose lean cuts of meats and try cleaner cooking techniques such as steaming and grilling instead!

  1. Cut Back On Alcohol

 

We all love a good time, but what’s a good time if we’re not here for a long enough time to spend with our loved ones? An excess in alcohol consumption can cause high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms and damage to the heart muscle. This is not a sign to give up alcohol completely, but sticking to the recommended guidelines which are two to three units a day for women and three to four for men can really make a difference! 

 

  1. Top Up On Omega-3

 

When you incorporate more fish in your diet that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, fresh tuna, mackerel and sardines, it can be particularly beneficial for your heart because they improve your cholesterol levels! If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you can get that same goodness from spinach, wheat germ, walnuts, flaxseed and even soya! There’s a lot of amazing ingredients out there to work with that can simultaneously make eating enjoyable and beneficial for your heart!

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