Food and Heart Health

College, Healthy Living, Other Thoughts, Real World

It’s easy to let heart health slip from your mind. In fact, sometimes as a twenty-something, you never really stop to think about your Heart Health.

The sad truth is Heart Disease is the No.1 killer of women in America. 1 in 3 women die from heart disease each year, that’s one woman a minute. It is easy to think that this disease is brought on by being obese, having high blood pressure, or many other health problems – but while all of these lead to higher risk, even the healthiest women can have a myocardial infarction (heart attack) or stroke and it all starts with your diet.

Today I am going to show you nine nutrition strategies to reduce your risk of Heart Disease.

1.Eat more fish.

Fish is a good source of protein and other nutrients. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association recommends two servings a week of omega-3 fatty acid-rich fish like salmon.

2.Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans.

Packed full of antioxidants and naturally occurring nutrients like flavonoids and lycopenes that can not be found in most oral vitamins- These beautiful and delicious wonders of nature may be one of the most powerful strategies in fighting heart disease.

3.Choose fat calories wisely.
I bet your asking “How can I choose fats wisely?”. The answer is simple just eat less total fat, especially less saturated and trans fats.

4.Limit total fat grams.
The total fat grams is based on the total number of calories you consume in a day. It is recommended that the percentage stay around 20%-35%.

Here is an easy way to calculate how many fat grams you should eat in a day:

To calculate your daily fat grams, multiply the number of calories you consume daily by 20 and 35 percent. This calculation yields your target fat calorie range. For a man or woman on a 2,000-calorie diet, the target fat-calorie range is 400 to 700 calories in fat grams.

5.Limit Trans Fats & Saturated Fats.

Eat a bare minimum of trans fats and no more than 7% to 10% of calories from saturated fats (for example, fats found in butter, hard margarine, salad dressing, fried foods, snack foods, sweets, and desserts).

6. Stick to unsaturated fats.

When you use added fat, use fats high in monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats (for example, fats found in canola, olive, and peanut oil).

7.Eat a variety and just the right amount of protein foods.

Commonly eaten high-fat protein foods (meat, dairy products) are among the main culprits in increasing heart disease risk. Reduce this nutritional risk factor by balancing animal, fish, and vegetable sources of protein and choosing the leanest protein sources.

8.Limit cholesterol consumption.

Limiting dietary cholesterol is recommended in nutrition guidelines. Get energy by eating complex carbohydrates (whole-wheat pasta, sweet potatoes, and whole-grain breads) and limit simple carbohydrates (regular soft drinks, sugar, sweets). The American Heart Association says it is alright for healthy adults to have an egg a day. When it comes to lowering blood cholesterol levels, limiting saturated fats is more important than dietary cholesterol intake. The recommendation is not to exceed 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol each day.

9. Exercise!

Get your body either to the gym or outside and move it!

 

There you have it! Also visit GO RED for more information on Heart Disease and Women.

 

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