Heart disease diet refers to food menu designed for the people suffering from heart diseases. A healthy diet plays an important role in reducing the risk of diseases related to heart. High cholesterol, obesity and hypertension are some of the causes of deadly heart diseases, but following a diet with controlled calories and less fat is quite beneficial in reducing all these problems, hence further reducing the heart problems.
A registered dietician or a heart care physician is helpful in formulating a healthy diet for heart. Individual needs and social customs are also looked upon while conceptualizing such diets.
Heart Disease Diet: Recommendations
Some of the highly recommended foods for keeping the heart healthy are as follows:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables – Almost all fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, essential minerals and vitamins. It is recommended to have at least 5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per day. These foods are low-fat, low-cholesterol and less-calorie items.
- Grains and cereals – Brown breads and low-fat breads are always better then white bread as they contain fiber and less carbs. Cereals, brown rice and wheat pasta are also the better options than refined products. Being high in iron and vitamin B, these foods are quite healthy. Baked foods are also avoided while designing heart healthy diet
- High-protein foods – Poultry, seafood, eggs, lentils, meats and nuts are the main carriers of proteins and quite beneficial for heart. B vitamins, minerals and iron are also present in these food items. However, various cooking healthy techniques should be used to make dishes with these items. Baking, grilling, broiling and poaching are some of the cooking methods that help in maintaining the nutrients as well as flavor of the food items. Lean meat and skinless poultry, organ-free meat, egg white and trimmed fat meat products are the healthy foods.
- Low-fat foods – High-fat especially saturated fat gets accumulated in arteries and increases cholesterol. Blocked arteries increased the risk of heart strokes as they block the free-flowing of blood to the heart. Therefore, it is essential to consume low-fat foods. Fat consumption should be 20-25% of the total intake of daily calories, out of which saturated fats should be only 10%. Butter, cheese, yogurt and cream should be prepared with skimmed or low-fat milk. Olive oil, sunflower oil and soybean oil are the healthier options than refined oil and clarified butter. Commercially baked foods and fried foods are not recommended for people suffering from heart diseases.
- Low-salt foods – Salty foods should be consumed but quantity of salt should be controlled. Excess salt induces blood-pressure that is extremely dangerous for heart. Low-sodium salt is highly recommended by the dieticians.
Benefits of Heart Disease Diet
- It helps in reducing the risk of heart strokes and also proves beneficial in preventing cardiovascular diseases.
- Less-fat diet does not allow accumulation of fat in the arteries, thus allowing blood to flow freely through heart vessels. It prevents coronary artery diseases as well
- Helps in reducing cholesterol and high-blood pressure that is quite beneficial for a healthy heart.
- Helps in weight reduction and maintaining a proper weight.
- Provides energy to the body and helps in keeping active.
- Increases metabolism rate and healthy immune system.
- Fresh fruits, vegetables and various nutrients help in strengthening the digestive system and overall body health.
Deep-fried foods are called as ‘heart-attack’ foods, therefore should be completely eliminated from the heart disease diet.
The 8-steps provided by Mayoclinic are quite beneficial for a healthy heart.
Trusted heart disease diet information can be gathered from Medlineplus