Foods for Healthy Heart
It is known that high cholesterol levels is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease. When it comes to diets, western diets are particularly rich in saturated animal fats. And even though Indian diets are not rich in animal fats but the ratio of saturated to unsaturated facts is higher due to the habit of frying or roasting in oil which destroys the unsaturated fats. Watch what happens in the kitchen because for example, one moderate sized onion has 40 calories but it you fry or roast it in oil, it will be 400 calories!
Eggs are wholesome food. However, the yellow portion of the egg is rich in cholesterol. For people who are trying to reduce cholesterol levels, avoiding the yolk is best. However, if you eat one egg a week it does not matter. Avoid eating tried eggs and cook in nonstick pans to reduce the additional oil required for cooking. For people who like an egg for breakfast every day, it is best to skip the yolk. The white part of the egg is a rich source of proteins and is recommended.
There is convincing data that moderate consumption of alcohol is good for you and reduces heart attacks. But what exactly is moderate alcohol consumption? It is 30 units of alcohol a month, which means 30 ml of whiskey is one unit, 60 ml of wine an half a pint of beer, Consuming one unit daily is better than five units during the weekend, Also, adhere to this important advice – Do not eat fried snacks while consuming alcohol. This is a common social custom which is often ignored but which leads to a high consumption of rich fatty foods with drinks.
The consumption of nuts is good. This is another common myth that is prevalent amongst patients and their families. Though nuts provide essential nutrients which are not available in common foods, the practice of eating a fist full of almonds is risky.
The total daily consumption of nuts should not exceed 50 grams and it should include one almond, halt a walnut, one amIa, one nutmeg and some oats. The health benefits of this combination are beyond heart disease. It is good for your skin, eyes and hair as well.
The amount of oil/ghee that is consumed matters. Reduce the total intake of oil/ghee and do not rush to the nearest store to buy the latest advertised brand of healthy oil. For example; Reduce your oil/ghee consumption by 50 per cent. This will give better results than consuming the same amount of oil of another ‘healthier’ brand.
Foods For Heart Health
- Adding fish to your diet at least twice a week does wonders for your heart.
- Always opt for fat free dairy products. Ensure that they have less or one per cent fat.
- Ensure that your diet is rich in veggies, fruits, fibre and whole grains.
- Fad diets are best avoided as these are short-term weight loss programmes and long-term weight gain will affect the heart.
- Consuming some dark chocolate daily helps reduce the risk of heart stroke (non-fatal) and cardiovascular diseases especially for those who are at high risk.