Eat Your Way to a Healthy Heart
Eating a heart-healthy diet is the key to reducing your risk for heart attack, stroke, heart disease and diabetes. By choosing the right foods at each meal, you can add years on to your life and even improve how you feel on a day-to-day basis.
Food fuels your body. The best fuel is the proper balance of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals that help each part of the body perform at its best. When you feed your body nutritious food, you will find you have more energy, lose weight, lower your blood pressure and much more. Eating heart healthy is not a diet, which can be temporary. It’s a lifestyle that is focused on treating yourself well.
You can’t control many risk factors of heart disease, such as age, gender and family history. However, you can reduce your risk by choosing a heart-healthy diet that follows these guidelines:
- Cut down on higher fat meats.
- Eliminate simple carbohydrates like enriched white flour and sugars.
- Eat healthier unsaturated fats.
- Lower your sodium intake.
- Rediscover fruits and vegetables.
A new, free cookbook from Bon Secours Heart & Vascular Institute aims to help people make heart-healthy diet choices. The Good for Your Heart cookbook contains over 100 recipes for salads, soups, sides, breakfasts, main courses and desserts that were reviewed for healthiness by registered dietitians. Each recipe includes ingredients, instructions and nutrition facts so they are simple to make and easy to record for people watching what they eat.
The book also provides tips from cardiologists on how to live a heart healthy life, instructions on how to substitute healthier ingredients into favorite recipes and guidance on what it means to eat heart healthy.
Heart-healthy eating should not be confusing, but filled with simple choices. The meals should not be bland or repetitive, but packed with a variety of flavors. You should enjoy the taste of the food you eat while your body enjoys the nutrients it receives. You can try a wide variety of dishes from the cookbook, from vegetarian pasta to barbecue chicken, to spice up your home cooking. Even party appetizers and desserts can have a place in a heart-healthy diet when eaten in moderation.
To take the first step toward a delicious heart-healthy lifestyle, you can download the free e-cookbook. The cookbook can be viewed on tablets, phones and computers with e-reader apps. It can also be used on some e-reading devices, including the Nook. A PDF of the cookbook is also available for download.