Heart healthy diet: The basics

The goal of heart healthy diet is to regenerate the body from within, with nutrient dense foods and to remove the toxins which can damage the organs and cells in the body, including the heart muscle and blood vessels.

Healthy foods are rich in antioxidants, phytochemicals and essential nutrients.

These rejuvenating phytonutrients can help us get rid of arrhythmia, reduce high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol, improve cardiac function, raise our energy levels and help burn excess fat.

Basically, the diet becomes the medicine.

However, no matter which kind of heart health diet you choose, they all have similar results. Also, don't try to change your diet all at once or you will most likely fail. Start slowly. First, get control over your snacks, by replacing candies and cookies with heart healthy diet snacks.

After you have mastered this part, you can continue to the next step.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF HEART HEALTHY DIET

When it comes to healthy overall eating habits, optimal caloric intake as well as micro and macro nutrient ratio is the key. For most people, a diet consisting of 40 % protein, 30 - 40 % carbs and 20-30 % fats seems to work best. 

Consume moderate amount of healthy carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta, potatoes and whole grains. Simple carbs coming from fruits are just fine.

Eat sufficient amount of protein. Good sources of protein are lean cuts of meat that are low in saturated fat as well as cottage cheese and fish rich in healthy fats. Also, pulses and legumes are good source of protein, too.

Besides these two macronutrients, add some nuts and almonds to your diet as well as some healthy oil for salat dressing such as extra virgin olive oil or canola oil to fulfill your daily quota of healthy fats.

POPULAR HEART HEALTHY DIETS

You shouldn't exclude any type of food from your menu unless you have some more severe condition such as high cholesterol.

In this case low cholesterol diet may be the right one for you. On the other hand, if you have very high blood pressure than you should consider going on a high blood pressure diet.

Besides diets mentioned above, the most popular and used heart disease diet for people with heart issues, is sacred heart diet or cabbage soup diet which is 7-day soup based diet. If you want to strengthen the heart and lose a few pounds and you don't know which diet for heart disease to choose, you can go with this one.

Personally, I tried sacred heart diet which worked pretty well for me, my energy levels went up and I lost a few pounds although I got some of them back, pretty fast.

DON'T DO TIPS

Common to all these heart healthy diets is that they don't allow or they at least limit, intake of salt, alcohol, processed foods and simple carbs such as white bread, candies, cookies, sodas and other high fructose products.

While we all know that consuming these "empty" foods day in and day out is not the best option, regarding our health, we don't change our eating habits until our health becomes jeopardized. I know, I was there. Unfortunately.

Also, stay away from unhealthy fats such as butter, margarine, fatty meats and hydrogenated oils.

In the begining, it will be hard to resist all these nice tasting foods because of which you should try to stay away from surrounding temptations. The best way to avoid these foods, is to keep them away from the fridge, the shelves, your home and your vicinity, as much as possible.

DO TIPS

Although every day is unique, eating plans of all these heart healthy diets are full of fruits and vegetables, such as mediterranean diet menu. The japanese people are also a great example. Their diets are full of fruits and vegetables of different colors which are rich in fiber, while they are extremely healthy people, especially for someone 90 to 100 years old.

It is because the different color of the plant, points on different carotenoid and phytonutrient content which is exactly what we want. To add more diversity, you can also add some spices of different colors such as curcuma, ginger, cayenne, parsley, oregano, basil and rosemary to your heart health diet.

When it comes to hydration, natural fruit juices and water are your best allies. Also, don't "pig out" during a meal. Eat until you are 80 percent full as the japanese people do.

While healthy diet is vital part for decreasing the risk and treating heart disease, controlled fasting can also be used to improve heart and cardiovascular system function. It is free of charge and the most simplest remedy for numerous disease, not just heart disease.

CONCLUSION

If you decide to go on a special heart healthy diet which in return gives you results, don't forget that after you go back to you're regular eating habits, you still have to eat healthy.

Although I have tried more than one heart disease diet, the problem with some of them, is that they are very strict in what you can and can't eat. Since I love food, I had to make some modifications to my daily eating habits.

However, my prior experience taught me how to eat healthy and still eat big, while staying full throughout the day.

The point is, eat colorful, natural, unprocessed foods and consume the right kind of carbohydrates. This will help you lose weight and improve cardiovascular system function, especially if combined with fasting.

What kind of diet helped you in overcoming heart disease?

Where you ever on any special diet for heart disease? Share your tips and recipes with the rest of us.





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