Following a healthy heart diet can have many benefits without erasing taste. With heart disease and stroke being the number one and number three killers of women over twenty-five in our country, loving your heart and treating it right is a must. I never really paid much mind to my diet until I found out I had kidney disease on top of having diabetes, neuropathy, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Suddenly being twenty six made me feel more like sixty six. I did some research on the changes I needed to make in my lifestyle before it was too late.

There are several major risk factors for heart disease that a heart healthy diet can prevent, control, or treat. These factors include elevated blood pressure, elevated blood cholesterol, the use of tobacco products, limited or no physical activity, being overweight, and diabetes. These factors often times come in groups. I personally have three of the six, as well as kidney disease and neuropathy.

Heart Healthy Lifestyle

The most important thing to take into account when planning a heart healthy diet , is sodium. Sodium is everywhere, even in places you might not realize, such as the beverages you drink.You should limit your daily sodium intake to under 2300mg per day. If you have heart disease, or have a had a heart attack or stroke, your limits will likely be much less and should be determined by your physician. Your daily intake of dietary cholesterol should be less than 500mg.

There are many kinds of fats, both good and bad. You should try to replace the bad ones such as saturated and trans fats with healthier ones like polyunsaturated and mono unsaturated fats. You should also maintain a healthy balance between your daily food intake and your daily physical activity, to help control your weight. You can get detailed information about healthy lifestyle by checking this site.

If you smoke, there is no time like the present to kick the habit. Try cutting back gradually to help reduce cravings. If you drink alcohol, you should not have more than one alcoholic beverage per day. Eliminating both of these things from your lifestyle will be the best decision you have ever made.

You don’t have to cut out taste to make it healthy. You will still be able to enjoy a variety of foods and even indulge on occasion. You should eat at least six servings daily of whole grain and grain products, five or more servings of fruits and vegetables, two servings of lean meats or proteins, and three or more servings of low fat or skim milk and milk products. To further optimize your diet, try including at least two servings per week of fish to get the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. It is also wise to choose low fat options for all your foods as often as possible.

If you are having trouble getting the hang of a new diet or with convincing yourself to get active, contact the American Heart Association. They will be able to put you in touch with local support groups, classes, and events. A few helpful programs include Heart Walk, Go Red For Women, Choose To Move, The Cholesterol Lowdown, and the AHA Food Certification Program. Helping yourself is much more fulfilling if you don’t have to face it alone. There are so many benefits of eating right and so many consequences if you don’t, what have you got to lose other than a few unwanted pounds?

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