Maintaining a balanced diet is one of the essential lifestyle choices you must make to have a long and healthy life. Think of it as an investment in your health to ensure that you enjoy your retirement years. Neglecting your health and eating an unhealthy diet can lead to many health issues like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Heart or cardiovascular disease alone is the number one cause of death in the United States and the world. It affects both men and women and may cause an early death. You may also experience other health issues like hypertension and high cholesterol.
Cardiovascular disease is a general term that medical professionals use to describe diseases that are related to the heart. But what it means is that your arteries develop a fat build-up that eventually leads to clogging of the arteries and cutting the supply of blood to your heart.
If you are a health professional, getting a Basic Life Support certification or BLS certification would be very helpful to ensure that you are prepared and equipped to deal with patients that are in distress due to heart problems.
One of the simple ways to lessen your risk of developing heart disease and maintain cardiac health is to choose to have a healthy diet.
Here are some heart-friendly eating habits that highlight the impact of your diet on your heart health:
Choose Healthy Fats
When people think of a healthy heart, they often mistakenly think that they should not include any type of fat in their diet. However, that is not the case at all. What you need to do is choose healthy fats.
Healthy fats are those that are found in fatty fish like salmon and herring. You can also use plant-based oils like olive oil and flaxseed oil. Fats from avocados and some nuts are also a good source of healthy fat. Just remember to choose monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats for a heart-friendly diet.
Choose Whole Grain
Whole grains are good because they have high fiber content and are packed with nutrients and trace minerals that your body needs. Whole grains are good for your heart health because they consist of complex carbohydrates. They are also good for regulating blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease.
So, next time when you are making a sandwich, consider switching from white bread to whole-grain bread for a healthier snack. Whole grain pastas are also a great option to consider to reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates.
Eat Fiber-Rich Foods
Fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables are beneficial for you because they are packed with vitamins and minerals that are generally good for your health. It’s recommended to include them in your diet as they make you feel full faster and for longer.
Feeling full for longer periods of time reduces the amount of food you consume, but without compromising on the maximum fiber and nutrient content that your body needs.
Avoid Junk Foods
Junk food like fast foods and processed foods are high in sodium and saturated fats. Sodium and saturated fats are the worst enemy of your heart, as they increase the chances of you getting cardiovascular diseases.
Drinks like cola, processed fruit juices, and other drinks that have added sugar are also bad for your health. Apart from heightening the risk for heart problems, they also increase your risk for developing diabetes.
Thus, avoid consuming junk foods and try your best to prepare your own food so that you are aware of what goes in it.
Eat Various Types Of Nuts
Various types of nuts like almonds, walnuts, and macadamia nuts are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. On top of that, they are also rich in fiber. So instead of eating fast food for snacks, you can add nuts instead to maintain a healthy and heart-friendly diet.
Oils from various types of nuts can also be a good substitute for cooking, although they would not contain fiber anymore. When you are consuming nuts for snacks though, remember to keep it simple. Nuts covered in salt, chocolate, or added calories will negate their positive effects in your diet.
Sleep At Least 6 To 8 Hours A Day
Getting enough rest and sleep is one of the most important lifestyle practices to maintain your heart health. Sleeping 6 to 8 hours should also be done at the right time to maximize health benefits.
Sleep allows your body to heal and recharge from the stress it encounters daily. Sleeping between ten o’clock at night to four in the morning is the best time to sleep as your body heals the most during these times.
Lack of sleep may result in high blood pressure and obesity. These health problems increase your risk for heart diseases so try to get plenty of restful sleep at night.
Your diet is a major factor in your overall well-being and heart health. After all, you are what you eat. Thus, it is important to choose a healthy diet. Know the best foods to eat to have better heart health and lower your risk for cardiac disease.
Practice healthy eating and be consistent with it to make your efforts worthwhile and effective. Eating healthy is a commitment that you should make to ensure a long and healthy life.