Monday, 11 August 2014

How to get through the day in a heart healthy way

Your alarm clock is buzzing and it’s time to start a brand new day, let’s get your day started off right with a heart-healthy breakfast. Components of a heart-healthy breakfast includes whole-grains that are rich in soluble fiber, low fat or fat free dairy products and meat that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol.

Breakfast is the ideal time to include a high soluble fiber cereal, low fat milk or yogurt and your favorite fruit. When you are shopping, look for a whole grain cereal with at least 3grams of soluble fiber, why? Because soluble fiber helps lower the cholesterol level in your blood. High blood cholesterol is considered a risk factor for heart diseases. Good sources of soluble fiber include beans, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and soluble fiber fortified foods.

For some people, especially those who eat breakfast before 7.00am, a morning snack is essential. Eating a morning helps tame your hunger so you’re not ravenous when lunch time arrives. Fruits, nuts, nut butters, and vegetables are perfect snack foods because they are very portable and filling. Did you know that eating 1 ounce of nuts, 5 times per week, has been shown to lower total cholesterol and LDL-Cholesterol?

Lunch and dinner is the traditional time to get in good serving of muscle building protein. One 3-4oz serving of lean meat, fish, or meat substitute is just the right size for most people,. To keep you heart its healthiest, choose protein sources that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol like fish, skinless chicken, turkey breast. Eating 7ounces of fatty fish per week is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. Lunch and dinner is also the perfect time to eat nature’s #1 source of soluble fiber – Beans, people of all ages need to get 10g of soluble fiber per day.

Nutrition research indicates that diets low in fat (20-30% calories from fat) low in cholesterol and low in saturated fat (less than 7% of total calories) reduce your risk of heart disease. Most healthy people should keep their cholesterol intake below 300mg per day.

It’s okay to have sweets in moderation. The key is to get your added sugars in food and drinks that are already nutrient dense and not just in items like candy or soda. Keeping your intake of added sugars (between 100- 150calories) will help you maintain a normal triglyceride level.Triglycerides are frequently high in people who have excessive intake of simple sugars. High triglycerides are a risk factor for heart disease.
Each decision you make in relation to your food choices and activity habits on a daily basis ultimately contributes to the body shape and fitness level you have today.

Wishing you a fabulous week!

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