With heart diseases being one of the most common causes of death worldwide, eating habits for a heart patient comes with not just a few but a lot many restrictions due to which they can’t even eat their favourite food and their taste buds keep on longing for it. If you are someone suffering from a heart disease or any other such complications and can’t wait to eat something good and delicious we got you covered up. Here are some smart food swaps which you can follow to enjoy your favourite meals with a healthy twist so that your heart health stays intact, because nothing can beat the power of a healthy heart. Here’s what our expert Nutritionist Rayan Fernando has to say about this.
Diet Tips For A Healthy Heart
“When it comes to your heart, it's simple, everyday choices you make that might have the most impact on your future well being. Along with exercising frequently and avoiding smoking, your food habits can affect what your life looks like decades from now. No matter how old you are, it is critical to reduce your intake of low-nutrient meals and replace them with meals that are excellent for your heart.” Nutritionist Rayan Fernando also suggests some food swaps that you can opt for a healthy heart such as having nuts over chips, coffee or tea instead of soda, dark chocolate over baked goods, Broil or grilled salmon over steak, greens over your whites.
Food swaps for Healthy Heart
By now we know what are the things we need to avoid and hence know the direction in which we are supposed to move further so without a further ado let's jump into the article and see 5 food swaps for a healthy heart.
1. Replace Butter with Vegetable Oils
High in saturated fats consuming food made with butter on a daily basis can raise the levels of bad cholesterol in your body and will increase your risks of getting heart diseases. Swapping butter with olive oil is the simplest way to replace saturated, unhealthy and trans-fatty acids with a source of omega-3 that will help you to reduce inflammation and improve cholesterol which as a result helps to improve vascular function and heart health.
2. Replace Refined Grains with Whole Wheat Grain
Cutting back fiber due to the absence of bran and germ in refined grains is associated with a higher risk of blood pressure, heart diseases and increasing cholesterol levels.The whole wheat grains containing bran and germ are rich in fiber which helps in lowering blood pressure, risk of strokes and cholesterol level which as a result keeps all your heart problems away.
If you can’t find whole wheat grain you can add in some rolled oats to your regular flour.
3. Replace Sugary Ice Creams with Fruity popsicles
It is always suggested that a heart patient should consume from minimum to no amount of sugar as part of their regular diet as sugar consumption is linked with several cardiovascular diseases. As it makes your body release more insulin which leads to spiking blood sugar levels and it might result in issues like heart attack and strokes.
Switching to Fruity popsicles and leaving behind those fatty, high in sugar ice creams you can enjoy the frozen dessert in a healthy way. As fruits consist of natural sugar they will help you to satisfy that sweet tooth and you can either go for a cut fruit or a fruit juice popsicle with no added sugar.
4. Replace Chips with Nuts
Another high in salt and even sugar content chips are packaged foods which come along with some preservatives and are capable of worsening your heart health. These packaged chips can be areson for your spiking blood pressure and high cholesterol levels which might result in several heart diseases. Instead of going for these packaged chips you can always opt for roasted nuts which are a rich source of proteins, nutrients and healthy fats (yes fats can be healthy too) which helps in lowering the risk of heart attacks
5. Replace Alcohol with Fruit Juice
Congratulations to all those who already keep themselves away from consuming any kind of alcoholic drinks and actually care about leading a healthy life but for those of you who can not get a party started without that tequila or vodka shot you all need to watch out. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to high blood pressure, stroke and in some cases even heart failure. Instead of chugging that beer bottle down you can go for a glass of natural fresh fruit juice with no added sugar or preservatives like orange juice which would help to improve the functioning of your blood vessels and lower the risk of getting any kind of heart disease.
What is heart healthy food?
Avoiding trans fats and limiting saturated fats is the key to getting a healthy heart. It is advised to reduce the amount of fats in your diet because these saturated and trans fats can raise your cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart problems even further.it is also advised to minimise the intake of salt, sugar and packaged food in your diet.
- Salt- Consuming too much salt can lead to high blood pressure which leads to high cholesterol which results in conditions like heart attack and stroke.
- Sugar- Including a lot of sugar in your daily diet can make your body release more insulin which leads to spiking blood sugar levels and it might result in cardiovascular diseases.
- Packaged Food- High in salt, sugar and trans fats, packaged food basically consists of everything that a heart patient should avoid and hence consuming packaged food can be really dangerous or poisonous for a heart patient.
These were some of our suggestions that might help you in keeping your heart health in check. Make sure that you follow a proper diet and avoid super salty, sugary and fatty foods. Before consuming these food items make sure that you are not allergic to any of them and consult your doctor immediately if you feel any kind of discomfort. Stay fit, Stay healthy.
Nutritionist Ryan Fernando suggests that “You can improve your heart health by modifying just a fraction of food choices you make everyday. Also, if you make dietary adjustments, consult with a dietician.”
With inputs from Nutritionist Ryan Fernando, QUA Nutrition Clinics
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