Lifestyle choices are an important consideration for maintaining a healthy heart. Eating a proper diet, getting regular exercise, and not smoking are all things we can control that will influence our cardiovascular health. One of the best ways to ensure a heart healthy diet is to create a regular meal plan that will make it easy to stay on track.
Top Heart Healthy Foods-
A good cardiac diet will include lean proteins, fibre, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats such as avocado.
- Choose whole grains like oats and barley over refined and processed grains
- Lean meats like salmon and poultry
- Fruits that are great for a heart healthy diet include berries, which are known to lower cholesterol and blood pressure and apples which can lower inflammation and plaque build up, while pomegranate juice was shown to have the highest level of antioxidants of any fruit juice
- Beans of all kinds are very beneficial for your blood pressure and overall heart health
- Nuts contain healthy fats and antioxidants, as well as fibre
- Leafy greens are always an excellent choice, with a high fibre content as well as Vitamin K which is important for clotting
- Healthy fats and oils include pure olive oil, which can help lower both blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as prevent clots, and avocados which are high in vitamins and fibre while helping to lower blood pressure and stroke risk
A simple, low cal meal plan can keep your heart health on track. Take time each week to decide what you need in the pantry and do any prep work that you can. This makes it easy to stick with the plan throughout the week! We have offered up some of our favourite meal choices for maintaining a delicious and heart healthy diet.
- Avocado (whole wheat) toast
- Low-fat yogurt
- Bran cereal with skim or nut milk
- Raw veggies
- Unsalted nuts
- Low-fat yogurt
- Peanut butter
- Unsalted popcorn
- Dark chocolate
- Green salad
- Whole wheat pita bread/hummus
- Soup (low sodium)
- Tuna on whole wheat
- Veggie wrap
- Chicken stir fry
- Grilled salmon/fish
- Turkey/chicken meatballs
- Whole wheat or rice pasta
- Brown rice
- Baked potato
- Grilled/steamed veggies
- Green tea
- Fruit juices (no added sugar, juicing your own is best!)
- Coffee, minus the heavy sugar!
We can do a lot to help ensure your heart stays strong and healthy as we age. Lifestyle choices can make a big difference, and it all begins with our diet. Avoid foods high in salt, fried, processed foods, and sugar. Planning ahead for your meals each week can create the habits that will help you live a long and healthy life!