Several factors are considered when heart disease is mentioned: heredity, stress, exercise regimen, and diet, to name a few. While you are not able to control your heredity, you can control your diet. Below is a short list of four healthy eating habits that may improve heart disease or prevent it altogether. In the event that heart disease is already present in your life, contact the mobile cardiac telemetry experts at Medicomp for a description of which cardiac monitors are best suited to monitor your heart as you monitor your diet.
- Limit portion size – Food menus give nutrition information on “one serving”, which varies with every food. A single serving may equal ten chips, ¼ cup of almonds, or three ounces of chicken. Knowing the size of one portion will help explain the nutrient value of your meal, but even more importantly, it will give you an idea of the relative size of what you should be consuming. While a restaurant may serve you a 14-ounce ribeye, it is not a good idea to eat the entire amount in one meal.
- Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet – Fruits and vegetables are a rich source of minerals and vitamins essential for a balanced diet. If you are not a fan of vegetables, add a small amount to a fruit smoothie or steam vegetables with your next meal. Fruits are best served raw, but are easily softened in the microwave for a quick dessert – a touch of cinnamon and a low-calorie sweetener with a baked apple tastes like apple pie! Keep fresh vegetables and fruits prepared in the refrigerator or on the table for a quick snack. Fruits and vegetables are low-calorie and filling foods. But limit the cream sauces and fried veggies, please.
- Whole grain goodness – Many cereals, both for adults and children, are touting whole grains and with good reason. Whole grains include the entire kernel while refined grains only contain the “meaty” section of the fruit, which contains the most carbohydrates. Whole grains contain abundant fiber for good digestive health and nutrients that regulate blood pressure and heart health. For a twist on the same old grains, try quinoa, flaxseed, or barley.
- Limit fat intake – Monounsaturated fats are the best choices for heart-healthy fats. These include olive oil and canola oil. Polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in nuts and seeds as well as some fish, are also good choices. Both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are high in calories, but will reduce your total cholesterol level. Other fats, such as trans fats or saturated fats, are poor choices and can cause high blood cholesterol levels affected by the buildup of arterial plaque. If the food label contains the words “partially hydrogenated”, the product contains trans fats.
Following these guidelines may reduce your total cholesterol, remove plaque from your arterial walls, enhance your heart’s health, and help you lose weight – what a great way to begin the new year! For more information on heart health, read our past blogs or contact the mobile cardiac telemetry professionals at Medicomp at (800) 23-HEART (234-3278).