What goes into your grocery cart can be a game-changer for your heart health. A balanced diet doesn’t just fill your stomach, it fuels your heart and arms it against diseases. Dr Manuel Abreu will discuss how a balanced diet plays a pivotal role in maintaining heart health.
Dietary Fats: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Not all fats are created equal. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (found in fish, avocados, nuts, and seeds) contribute positively to heart health. However, saturated fats and trans fats increase cholesterol levels and intensify the risk of heart disease. A balanced diet prioritizes the “good” fats and minimizes the “bad” ones.
Dr Manuel Abreu Dense in fiber, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains aid in maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. These foods are the heart’s best friends, significantly reducing the risk of heart disease.
The Low-Down on Sodium
High sodium intake can result in high blood pressure, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Sticking to a balanced diet that lowers sodium intake can help keep your blood pressure in check.
Sugar Matters Too
Excess sugar often leads to weight gain, increasing the risk of heart disease. It’s important to control the consumption of sugary drinks and sweets, focusing on the natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables instead.
Lean Toward Lean Proteins
The type of protein you choose can make a difference. Lean proteins like fish and poultry, as well as plant-based proteins like legumes and tofu, are excellent heart-healthy alternatives to red meat.
Heart-Healthy Nutrients Aplenty
Heart-friendly nutrients are key components of a balanced diet. These include Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and chia seeds), calcium and vitamin D for blood pressure control, and antioxidants found in colorful fruits and vegetables.
Keep Portions in Check
Dr Manuel Abreu Even with the healthiest foods, portion sizes matter. Consuming servings appropriate to your physical needs and activity level keeps calorie intake balanced, contributing to weight management and heart health.