We all want to lead healthy lifestyles. To stay fit, we join a gym, exercise regularly, adopt a healthy diet and so on. These habits become essential as we age, owing to our sedentary lifestyle. Add to this our love for processed and unhealthy food that plays a crucial role in the development of heart diseases.
You must have heard the term ‘you are what you eat’. Staying true to the dictum, our body responds to anything and everything we eat. No doubt, it is important to reconsider our diet if we want to have an ailment-free future. It is possible that some of us may inherit genes that make us susceptible to certain disorders. Many major illnesses including cardiovascular diseases can be genetically inherited. Although genetic testing can inform you in advance, there are a few ways to prevent them from occurring. Even if one is not afflicted by ailments, following a nutritious diet plan is necessary. Maintaining a healthy diet may not only delay or altogether prevent the onset of diseases, but it also keeps you healthy and full of energy.
In this article, we discuss some of the key features of healthy eating and diet that may prove effective against developing a heart disease.
- Quantity is as important as Quality: It’s not just about what you eat, how much you eat is equally vital. Eating to your heart’s content is not the aim here. Even tiny portions of nutritious food are enough to power you through the day. The thumb rule is to eat slowly and in small quantities. Instead of having large meals during lunch and dinner, divide your meals into smaller snackable portions that are easy to digest.
- Include more fruits and vegetables in your meals: Fruits and vegetables make for good heart-friendly food with low calories and high nutrition. Rich in vitamins and minerals, plant-based food items are extremely low in fats. Also, they contain substances like anti-oxidants that prevent ageing and thereby, keeping you young and healthy. By incorporating fruits and vegetables, you can cut back on high calorific foods such as meat. Similarly, you should try to eliminate unhealthy processed food and snacks which contain an excess of salt.
- Choose whole grain food: Switch over to whole grain food products by slowly substituting refined foods. Whole grains provide the necessary fibre and nutrients that are extremely beneficial for the heart. You have whole grain options available for cereals, bread and even pasta.
- Opt out of unhealthy fats: An important part of a heart-healthy diet is to limit the consumption of saturated and trans fats. These can cause a rise in cholesterol levels in the blood and increase the risk of developing coronary artery disease. High cholesterol levels are also responsible for the deposition of plaque in the blood vessels, causing atherosclerosis. This condition poses a risk of heart attack or a stroke.
Bringing about the necessary changes to your diet can lead to life-long benefits.