By: Michelle Miller, MSACN and Rachel Naar, RD.
It’s the season of love, and what better way to show love to yourself than supporting your heart! A heart-healthy lifestyle trumps the pharmacy chocolates as a gift to yourself this February and can be instrumental in helping to prevent cardiovascular diseases. (Though if you must, we recommend Hu Chocolate).
Lifestyle changes can help nip heart-harming trends (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides) in the bud before they cause serious damage. Below, we share 3 heart-healthy tips to strengthen your ticker. You’ll LOVE how you feel, and your heart will thank you:
1. Limit the BAD fats:
- Trans fats are by far the worst! These are found in stick margarine, shortening, fried foods, and packaged foods made with hydrogenated oils. Avoid these at all costs.
- Foods high in saturated fats such as fatty meat, poultry skin, bacon, sausage, whole milk, cream, and butter should be limited.
- Instead, utilize plant-based oils for cooking. These are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which can help reduce heart disease.
- Note: Spend a little extra on high-quality olive oil. You get what you pay for.
- We love Primal Kitchen’s Avocado Oil.
2. Eat more omega-3’s:
- Great choices include salmon, tuna, and mackerel.
- Aim to eat fish twice a week.
- Again, you get what you pay for with quality cold-water fish. Spend a little extra to make it worth your while.
- If you’re vegan or vegetarian or want a nonanimal way to include omega-3, consider walnuts, cashews, and flaxseed.
3. Fiber is your friend:
- Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dried beans are great sources of fiber.
Looking for other ways to feed a healthy heart? Our nutrition team is always here to help. If you’d like to create your own personalized nutrition plan, give us a call or reach out to us by filling out the form below: