Our heart is essential to our well-being, so it makes sense to do things that keep it working well. Aerobic exercise is important, but so is eating well.Follow these tips for heart-healthy eating:
Eat less saturated and trans fat. Stay away from fatty meats, fried foods, cakes, and cookies.
Cut down on sodium (salt). Look for the low-sodium or “no salt added” types of canned soups, vegetables, snack foods, and lunch meats. Sodium recommendations have been lowered to 2300 milligrams of sodium a day which is 1 teaspoon.
Get more fiber. Fiber is in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
The GEHA February 2016 Health e-report printed this this list of heart healthy foods to put on your shopping list.
Vegetables and fruits
Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits. To save money, buy vegetables and fruits that are in season, frozen, or canned.
Fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, cabbage, and broccoli
Leafy greens for salads, like spinach and kale
Frozen vegetables without added butter or sauces
Fresh fruits such as apples, oranges, bananas, pears, and peaches
Canned fruit in 100% juice, not syrup
Frozen or dried fruit (unsweetened)
Milk and milk products
Look for fat-free or low-fat milk products. Or choose soy products with added calcium.
Fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
Fat-free or low-fat yogurt
Cheese (3 grams of fat or less per serving)
Fat-free or low-fat soy milk with calcium
Breads, cereals, and grains
For products with more than one ingredient, make sure whole wheat or another whole grain is listed first.
100% whole-wheat bread
Whole-grain breakfast cereals like oatmeal
Whole grains such as brown or wild rice, barley, and bulgur
Whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta
Meat, beans, eggs, and nuts
Choose lean cuts of meat and other foods with protein.
Seafood, including fish and shellfish
Chicken and turkey breast without skin
Pork: leg, shoulder, tenderloin
Beef: round, sirloin, tenderloin, extra lean ground beef
Beans, lentils, and peas
Eggs and egg substitutes
Nuts and seeds
Fats and oils
Cut back on saturated fat and look for products with no trans fats.
Margarine and spreads (soft, tub, or liquid) with no trans fats