Diabetes is a chronic health condition that affects more than 100 million people in the United States! Managing diabetes or prediabetes is difficult on its own but these conditions also increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. November is National Diabetes Month, an annual observance dedicated to raising awareness about diabetes. This month, make
Eat Your Way to a Healthier Heart
Improving and maintaining good heart health starts with the right diet.
At HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, our cardiovascular specialists offer a variety of preventive resources to reduce your risk for chronic heart disease and heart attacks. And it all starts what you’re putting into your body.
Learn more about what you should be eating now to boost your long-term heart health.
How your diet affects your heart health
If you’re not eating a balanced, nutritious diet, your heart and overall health can suffer as a result. When you eat a diet that’s high in fat or full of processed foods, you’re likely increasing your risk for chronic health issues that contribute to chronic heart disease, such as:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
Certain foods can also cause persistent inflammation throughout your body that ultimately affects the health and function of your heart. In some cases, a lack of essential vitamins and nutrients can also cause underlying health issues that impact your heart.
What to eat to achieve a healthy heart
Your diet is important not only for good heart health, but it also contributes to your daily energy levels, your mental clarity, and your moods.
By incorporating a healthier diet into your life and combining it with at least 30 minutes of daily exercise, you can significantly reduce your risk factors for chronic heart disease and a heart attack.
The cardiovascular experts at HeartCare Associates of Connecticut work closely with you to develop a heart-healthy diet before you develop potentially serious medical issues. Here are some of the foods the team encourages people to eat to preserve good heart health.
The recommended intake of leafy greens and other vegetables is a minimum of two servings per day. One cup of spinach is an example of one serving of vegetables that you can easily incorporate into your usual diet. Other healthy vegetable options to promote heart health include cabbage, eggplant, and zucchini.
Daily fruit recommendations encourage at least five servings of fresh fruits, like apples, berries, and bananas, to maintain your heart health. If you can’t eat fresh fruits, you can opt for frozen.
Be sure to avoid the empty calories from syrupy-sweet canned fruits that can negatively influence your blood glucose levels.
Whole grains are essential for healthy digestion. The grains provide the fiber your body needs to eliminate waste. However, it’s important that you avoid enriched grains, like white rice and white breads that have been refined and don’t have as much fiber as they should.
Add six to eight servings of whole grains a day to promote good digestion and a healthy heart.
Seeds, beans, and nuts
The fats contained in nuts, seeds, and many beans are the healthy fats your body needs to control cholesterol. To protect your heart’s function, you should add beans, nuts, and seeds to your diet at least several times a week to receive the full benefit of the healthy fats.
Oily fish contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which can actually lower your risk for heart disease. You can still eat beef, poultry, and other meats in moderation as part of a heart-healthy diet, but focus on portion control and opt for fish more often.
You don’t have to give up dairy products entirely to enjoy a heart-healthy diet. You should limit your choices to fat-free yogurts and milk whenever possible, and aim for at least two to three servings a day.
It’s time to get your heart in shape
Our team at HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, can provide other dietary resources to boost your heart health. We can help you learn more about reading labels, limiting salt, and identifying other heart-healthy ingredients that you can use to strengthen your heart and improve your overall quality of life.
To schedule a consultation to learn more about preventive heart care, book an appointment today by calling HeartCare Associates of Connecticut, LLC, at one of our five locations.
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