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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Keep Your Heart Strong and Healthy

In United States Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death. As of 2007, it is the leading cause of death in the United States, UK, Canada, killing one person every 34 seconds in the United States alone.

Every year millions of people suffer from this disease, and one of the main reasons behind it is an improper diet. Although you might know eating certain foods can increase your heart disease risk, it’s often tough to change your eating habits.

As such, it is very important for us to be aware of the correct diet to be followed in order to avoid being a victim of heart disease.

We need to cut down on foods having a high content of saturated and trans fat as they help in increasing the cholesterol level in our body which in turn leads to heart disease and a condition called as atherosclerosis which causes heart attack and strokes. In order to do this, we need to consume less solid fats such as butter, margarine, lard, bacon, gravy, cream sauce, non dairy creamers, cocoa butter, shortening, cookies, crackers and chips. We can use products like low fat yogurt and salsa as substitutes.

For cooking, we need to use mono saturated fats such as olive oil and canola oil instead of coconut, palm, cotton seed and palm-kernel oils.

We should get our daily proteins from low fat sources rather than high fat ones. Lean meat, poultry, fish, legumes such as peas, beans and lentils, skim or low fat milk, low fat yogurt, skinless poultry and soy beans and soy products are all excellent sources of proteins. We need to avoid full fat milk, organ meats, egg yolks, fatty meats, cold cuts, fried or canned meats and sausages.

Vegetables and fruits are a good source of vitamins and minerals and can help prevent cardiovascular diseases and as such we should learn to include a good amount of fruits and vegetables in our everyday diet. However, we should avoid vegetables with creamy sauces, fried or breaded vegetables and canned fruits. Whole grains also are a good source of fibers and nutrients and also help in regulating the heart pressure. We need to eat foods like whole wheat flour, whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole grain pasta , oatmeal and ground flaxseed to lower our cholesterol and avoid foods like muffins, waffles, corn bread, dough nuts, biscuits, quick breads, granola bars, cakes, pies, egg noodles, cakes and pies.

People who eat a lot of salt are prone to high blood pressure which is one of the symptoms of heart disease. The American Heart Association suggests that adults should eat less than 2,300 milligrams of salt on a daily basis. We need to reduce the amount of salt that we use in cooking and also stop eating canned or processed foods which contain a lot of salt. We should also not use tomato ketchups and sauces and substitute them with herbs, spices and reduced salt versions of condiments.

Thus, based on the above mentioned foods that need to be consumed for a healthy heart, we need to prepare a chart indicating the foods we need to consume on a daily basis and follow it properly. We should never eat more than required and exercise everyday to stay fit and have a healthy heart.

Eating a special diet called the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan also can help protect your heart. Following the DASH diet means eating foods that are low in fat, cholesterol and salt. The diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products that can help protect your heart. Legumes, low-fat sources of protein and certain types of fish can also reduce risk of heart disease.

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Read more: http://articleflix.com/index.php/health-and-fitness/keep-your-heart-strong-and-healthy-06032010.html#ixzz0hkgJHcRJ

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