Can Dietary Changes Improve Your Heart Health?
Making healthy dietary choices every day is an excellent—and essential—way to improve your heart health. Diet is a significant factor for both the prevention and the management of heart conditions. Along with dietary changes, your heart doctor may recommend regular exercise, medications, or surgical procedures.
Why Portion Size Matters
The size of your meals and snacks is just as important as the types of foods you choose. Unfortunately, over the past few decades, portion sizes in restaurants and in households have steadily expanded. Consuming more calories than your body uses leads to weight gain. Consequently, being overweight or obese increases the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease (CHD), and congestive heart failure. Talk to your heart doctor about the portion sizes that are appropriate for you. One simple way to reduce your portion sizes is to use smaller plates and bowls.
How Vegetables and Fruits Can Improve Wellness
When creating your meals and snacks, try to include more vegetables and fruits. Ideally, vegetables should occupy about half of the space on your dinner plate. Increasing your intake of veggies and fruits supports your heart health in a number of ways. Provided you avoid smothering your veggies in heavy sauces, fresh or frozen produce is much lower in calories than other choices such as starchy foods. This helps you maintain a trim waistline or lose excess pounds if that’s your goal. Additionally, veggies and fruits contain nutrients that are beneficial for your cardiovascular health and overall wellness, such as dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Another benefit of eating more fruits and veggies is that they can satiate your hunger and possibly help you eat fewer unhealthy foods.
Which Fats Are Good and Which Aren’t
A low-fat diet is important for heart health, but certain types of fats are helpful for your body and others aren’t. Consuming fewer foods with saturated and trans fats can lower your risk of high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, and heart attack. Instead, eat small amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats to manage cholesterol levels.
At Cardiac Solutions, you’ll find all the resources you need to support your heart health—from medical and surgical cardiac care to patient education and workshops. New and current patients with heart disease in Avondale can contact us at (623) 876-8816. Our cardiologists also invite patients to explore our website for informative articles on heart health.