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Heart Disease and Diet

A healthy diet plays an important role in decreasing or controlling heart disease. A heart-healthy diet begins by paying close attention to what you eat. Few changes in the diet can bring about a huge difference in your well-being:

  • Control your portion size: The quantity you eat is just as important as what you eat and overloading the plate or eating until you feel stuffed can often lead to eating more calories, fat and cholesterol than what is normally required.
  • Eat more vegetables and fruits: Vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals and they are also low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. Eating more fruits and vegetables may help you eat less high-fat foods, such as meat, cheese and snack foods thus reducing your chances of getting a cardiovascular disease.
  • Include whole grains: Whole grains are good sources of fiber and other nutrients which play an important role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. The best way to increase the amount of whole grains in a heart-healthy diet is by substituting refined food products by whole grains.
  • Limit unhealthy fats and cholesterol: Reducing the intake of saturated and Trans- fats is an important step to reduce blood cholesterol and lower the risk of coronary artery disease. High blood cholesterol level can lead to a buildup of plaques in the arteries which can eventually lead to heart attack and stroke. But olive oil and omega3 fatty acids are good for your heart so can be included in the diet.
  • Choose low-fat protein sources: Lean meat, poultry and fish, low-fat dairy products, and egg whites are some of the sources of protein. Fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help to lower blood fats called triglycerides. Legumes like beans, peas and lentils are also good sources of protein as it contains less fat and no cholesterol, making them good substitutes for meat.
  • Reduce the sodium in your food: Eating a lot of sodium or salt can contribute to high blood pressure and increases the risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Reducing sodium is an important part of a heart-healthy diet.