Choosing Heart Healthy Foods
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How can I go about choosing heart healthy foods?
Do you know how to make heart healthy choices when it comes to your diet? Knowing what to eat and what to avoid (or have in moderation) can help your overall cardiovascular health. Check nutrition charts for healthy eating guidlines, and follow these great tips for heart healthy eating:
- Say yes to lean meats such as chicken and fish and try to eat higher fat items such as red meats in moderation.
- Avoid fried foods when possible.
- Substitute low fat items into your diet whenever you can. For example, instead of using butter for flavor, try salsa, yogurt or ground pepper, depending on the dish.
- Drink skim milk instead of whole milk.
- When possible, use monounsaturated fats such as olive oil for cooking or dressings.
- Select whole grain cereals, pasta and breads instead of those made with refined flour.
- Use herbs instead of salt for flavor.
The American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults eat less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day. Keep an eye on nutrition charts and labels to make sure you are not eating too much salt. Try to use heart healthy recipes whenever cooking at home. Substitute egg whites for full eggs in omelets. Make soup fresh or buy low sodium varieties. Go easy on things like potato chips or substitute pretzels instead to reduce the amount of fat you eat. Simple adjustments can add up and help you maintain your cardiovascular health. Once you are in the habit of making wise food selections, it becomes easy to make the healthy choice.