Thursday, March 20, 2014

Heart Healthy Diet

The American Heart Association recommends to help lower cholesterol by implementing 3 very easy steps!

1. Change high-risk habits. High risk habits are just that. Habits that put you at an increased risk of suffering a cardiovascular event.
* Stop smoking. There are many, many resources available to aid in the cessation of smoking. It is highly likely for those people who have smoked for decades to quit. The first step to successfully help in quitting is you must want to quit. Discuss a stop smoking plan with your doctor.
* Limit alcohol consumption to just 1 per day. Avoid binge drinking. Not only does this stress your heart but also causes liver toxicity.

2. Daily exercise. Brisk walk on flat ground or trail walking will help strengthen the cardiovascular system.

3. Eat a heart healthy diet. This includes: choosing healthy fats such as, fish, lean meats and poultry without the skin. Grill, broil or poach meats. Cook with olive oil instead of butter. Avoid trans fats found in junk food. Junk food is called junk food because its junk. There are no health benefits in junk food.

4. Adding fiber to your diet will help regulate sugar levels, keep you fuller longer, and regulate colon health. Brown rice, whole wheat pasta, fruits and vegetables.

5. Foods rich in vitamins B, C, and E. Vitamins B and C are water soluble. Which means your body uses what it needs for the day and the remainder is voided in urine. Vitamin  is fat soluble. This means it is stored in fat cells. Your body will use as needed. Dark leafy green vegetables, almonds, all fruits, carrots, sweet potatoes, mangoes.

Limit salt intake. Choose naturally occurring low-sodium foods and refrain adding salt to your meals. There are salt alternatives available at your locol grocery store. Salt causes increased blood pressure and water retention. Blood pressure is a measure of how much pressure your blood vessels are under. The ideal time to measure for an accurate pressure is when your sitting and relaxed. Maintain a normo-tensive blood pressure around 120/80. Your doctor will consult with you what is the best systolic and diastolic pressure range for you.

Good health,
Trisha M. Pacenti RN,BSN