It is advisable to follow a basic balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, fish and lean meat, and minimize the consumption of harmful fats. It is also essential to avoid tobacco and practice physical exercise. Weight control and regular exercise are essential to keep the heart in shape. A healthy diet for the heart can reduce the risk of suffering diseases or suffering a stroke by 80%. Therefore, it is important that you know how an anti-infarct diet is. By understanding what foods and cooking methods are most heart-healthy, you may be able to prevent or control diseases and high blood pressure. Thus, you will have more control over the quality of your life.
Choose Foods that Lower Cholesterol
Unhealthy cholesterol levels increase the risk of heart disease, so keeping yours low is the key to a healthier heart.
“Your diet is essential to control cholesterol”.
In fact, some foods can lower cholesterol, while others only make the situation worse. First, avoid saturated or Trans fats. Foods that contain high levels of these fats, such as potato chips and packaged cookies can increase your cholesterol levels more significantly than foods that contain cholesterol, such as eggs. Saturated fats and Trans fats increase LDL cholesterol and, in turn, lower HDL cholesterol levels, which can put you at higher cardiovascular risk. On the other hand, make intelligent decisions. Choose foods rich in unsaturated fats, fiber and proteins, key in an anti-infarct diet. Fruits, vegetables, fish, beans, nuts and seeds are all great regulators of cholesterol. The best foods to lower cholesterol are oats, fish, nuts and other nuts, olive oil and foods enriched with sterols or stanols, substances found in plants that help block the absorption of cholesterol.
Remember that labels can be deceiving. Navigating food labels can often be tricky since foods packed with labels like “no cholesterol” or “low cholesterol” is not necessarily healthy for the heart and may even contain cholesterol and put the heart at risk. Limit yourself to the basics whenever possible: fruits, vegetables, nuts and lean proteins.
Not all Fats are Bad for the Heart
While saturated and Trans fats are obstacles to a healthy heart, unsaturated fats are essential for good health. Therefore, they are also key in an anti-infarction diet. You just have to know the difference.
“Good” fats include:
- Omega 3 fatty acids: Fatty fish such as salmon, trout or herring and flaxseed, canola oil and nuts contain all the polyunsaturated fats that are vital to the body.
- Omega 6 fatty acids: Vegetable oils, soy nuts and many types of seeds all contain healthy fats.
- Monounsaturated fats: Almonds, cashews, peanuts, nuts, and butters made from these nuts, as well as avocados, are good sources of “good” fats.
- Healthy fats: raw nuts, olive oil, fish oils, flax seeds or avocados.
- Nutrients: fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, prepared without butter.
- Fiber: cereals, breads and pastas made with whole grains or legumes.
- Omega 3 and proteins: fish and shellfish, poultry.
- Calcium and protein: egg whites, egg substitutes, skim milk or 1% fat milk, low fat or non-fat cheeses or yogurts.
- The Trans fat from fried food or partially hydrogenated; the saturated fats of whole milk products or red meat.
- The packaged food of any kind, especially those high in sodium.
- White bread, granola type cereals, pasta or rice refined.
- The red meat, bacon, sausage, fried chicken.
- Whole dairy products like cheese or yogurt.
Of course, in addition to these recommendations for an anti-infarction diet, remember that you should always lead an active life, away from sedentary lifestyle. In this sense, it is important that you perform physical exercise on a regular basis. In addition, you must maintain healthy lifestyle habits, such as quitting tobacco and alcohol. Finally, never forget the importance of staying well hydrated, mainly by consuming water.
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