A healthy diet and lifestyle are your best ways to fight cardiovascular disease. It’s not as hard as you may think! You just have to pay attention to your choices. Do these simple steps daily for long-term benefits to your health and your heart.
Use up at least as many calories as you take in. Know how many calories you should be eating and drinking to maintain your weight. Regular physical activity can help you maintain your weight, keep off weight that you lose and help you reach physical and cardiovascular fitness.
Eat a variety of nutritious food from all the food groups. You may be eating plenty of food, but your body may not be getting the nutrients it needs to be healthy. Choose foods rich in minerals, protein, whole grains and other nutrients but are lower in calories. They may help you control your weight cholesterol and blood pressure.
Eat an overall healthy dietary pattern that emphasizes:
A variety of fruits and vegetables
Low-fat dairy products
Skinless poultry and fish
Nuts and legumes
Non-tropical vegetable oils
Limit saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, red meat, sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages.
Eat less of the nutrient-poor foods. Limit foods and beverages high in calories but low in nutrients. Also limit the amount of saturated fat, trans fat and sodium you eat.
Read Nutrition Facts labels carefully. These show you the amount of healthy and unhealthy nutrients in a food or beverage.
Make your own food
Studies have shown that if you prepare your food from scratch, you are more likely to eat healthily. If you use what’s in season and cook different foods throughout the year, you get fresh herbs, antioxidants and a good variety. When you prepare your meals, follow a Mediterranean-ish diet that focuses on fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, whole grains and olive oil and avoids a lot of animal fat. This type of diet is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
You make many choices every day, like what color socks to wear or how to fix your hair. When it comes to making decisions that keep you healthy, it may seem difficult to choose better options when so many things seem easier or just more fun. You just need to take small steps in a healthy direction and that begins by knowing the healthy choices! Then it gets easier to make choices every day that help keep you healthy.