Heart disease is a leading killer for Americans. Although some risks for heart disease are genetic, there are many lifestyle choices you can make to lower your risk. One of the best ways to maintain a healthy heart is through a good diet and exercise. But what does that mean? Here are five tips on how to eat healthy to lower your risk of heart disease.
- Cut down on the salt. Too much sodium in your diet can lead to high blood pressure, a main contributor to heart disease. A healthy adult should have less than a teaspoon or 2,300 mg per day.
- Choose lean proteins. Eat more boneless, skinless chicken breast, fish and other lean meats while cutting back on fatty red meat and processed meats.
- Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Fibrous fruits and vegetables are chocked full of vitamins and minerals that are good for your heart.
- Choose complex carbohydrates. Sugar, flour and other simple carbohydrates are bad for cholesterol levels and your heart. Choose whole-grain breads, brown rice, whole-grain pasta and other source of high fiber for your complex carbohydrates.
- Lower unhealthy fats. Reduce your consumption of saturated fats like butter and trans fats like hydrogenated margarine. Opt for healthier fats like olive oil and nuts.
If you have a history of heart disease in your family or you have other risk factors like high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you should make heart health a priority. Consider consulting a cardiologist to determine the best options for lowering your risk of heart disease through diet, exercise and other treatment options.
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