Improving your cardiovascular health is important, and there are several diets you can try. What about the American Heart Association diet, what do they recommend? Let’s take a look.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. This means that taking care of your cardiovascular health is more important than ever.
A few lifestyle changes, including a healthier diet and consistent exercise routine, can help.
Eating Heart Healthy
The American Heart Association (AHA) diet focuses on variety and knowledge, which encourages staying vigilant about what foods you eat and what they are made of.
First, eat a variety of nutritious foods. Despite how much you may be eating, your body may not be getting enough nutrients. These include:
- Various fruits and vegetables
- Fiber-rich whole grains
- Low-fat dairy products
- Poultry and fish
- Nuts and legumes
- Non-tropical vegetable oils
Foods high in nutrients can help you control your weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
Second, eat less of the unhealthy, nutrient-poor foods, especially those high in calories. Try limiting saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, red meat, sweets, and sugary beverages. If eating red meat, select a leaner cut.
Many foods that have low nutritional value are high in calories due to the added sugar. These promote weight gain because you need to eat more to be satisfied nutritionally, and this leads to heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
More Ways to Stay Healthy
Taking a more holistic approach to heart health is key to help you maintain these habits for long-term.
The AHA recommends figuring out how many calories your body needs daily to maintain its weight. This will help you come up with a meal plan that suits your needs and stave off unhealthy weight gain.
Furthermore, try doing 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week. Staying active helps maintain cardiovascular health.
The AHA also recommends to not smoke, vape or use tobacco or nicotine products. This includes avoiding secondhand smoke or vapor where possible.
Some quick ways to start reducing unhealthy foods:
- Cut back sugary beverages and foods.
- If drinking alcohol, do so in moderation (one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men).
- Keep an eye on portion sizes.
- Choose fish twice a week, especially those rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Choose low-fat dairy products.
Additionally, if you decide to follow specific diet plans, the Mediterranean Diet has been shown to reduce overall risk of heart disease by 40%.
Making smart food choices doesn’t have to be hard. Talk with your doctor about your unique health conditions, and discuss which lifestyle changes you should try implementing.
A nutrient-rich diet, moderate exercise, and cutting back on smoking can help extend your life expectancy and quality of life.
If you’re not getting enough nutrients and minerals from your food, consider taking L-arginine Plus. It uses nitric oxide to relax blood vessels, which leads to better circulation, blood pressure support, improved physical activity, and a healthier heart; try it if you want to experience these benefits and more.