Heart Healthy Diet: Important Guidelines

You are what you eat. And your heart health says what you serve on your plate every day. Needless to say, diet plays a major role in determining your heart health. If you have any of these risk factors like high cholesterol levels, hypertension, obesity, smoking or family history of heart troubles or even if you do not have any of these risk factors.

start following a few simple diet tips for a healthy heart:

Take up Good fats, cut down bad fats: Yes, fats can be good or bad too. Mono saturated Fats are considered the good ones. Good sources of these types of fats are olive oil, flax seeds, fish oil, walnuts and sunflower seeds.

Omega 3 fatty acids are also good fats found in Tuna fish and flax seeds. Use a healthy mix of good oils like olive oil, canola oil, and mustard and soya oil.

Increase your antioxidants intake: Antioxidants are heart friendly supplements found mainly in colored fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains. Take them directly from diet everyday or from regular supplements. They prevent your heart from free radical damage. Sip on green tea which is rich in antioxidant and provides numerous benefits.

Eat as much as colored fruits and vegetables. Load on plenty of cherries, tomatoes, bell peppers, raspberries, plums etc. They are rich sources of heart healthy flavanoids and beta carotenes.

Have a fiber rich diet. Dietary fiber helps a great deal in bringing down the level of bad cholesterol, an important factor in provoking heart diseases and strokes. Fiber rich foods are whole grains, bran, bran based cereals, oats, brown rice.

Cut down on dairy products. Opt for skimmed milk instead of heavy full cream milk. Or a better option would be to go for soy milk that has all the goodness of soya protein.

Cut down your salt intake. Avoid pickles, table salt, canned and processed foods, deep fried snacks, salted wafers and chips. All these junk foods are the biggest enemy of a healthy heart. Change your mode of cooking. Try grilling, baking, roasting, boiling but avoid frying.

Get rid of smoking and alcohol. Tobacco in any form is dangerous for heart health. Cut down on alcohol and go for red wine instead.Thus, a good and healthy diet followed by a regular 5 days a week exercise routine can be very effective in maintaining a good and healthy heart!