Bad cholesterol or a bad diet is something we all experience at some point in time. It’s impossible to eat healthy our whole lives, even though we may try hard to do it. Eating healthy for your heart is something everyone should try to do, especially when it comes to restoring health and reducing heart attacks.
Your heart and food
We know these things for sure – a diet high in saturated fats will help raise your cholesterol, which is a risk factor for heart disease. People that are obese are more prone to heart disease. A diet high in sodium may elevate your blood pressure, leading to inflammation and even heart disease.
To help prevent heart disease and improve your health, put the tips below to good use.
Eat plenty of fish
Herring, sardines, and salmon are all excellent sources of Omega 3 essential fatty acids. Other fish are great also, although Omega 3 may help to get your cholesterol down to a healthier level.
Choosing healthy fats and oils
Saturated fat will increase the risk of heart disease. It’s found in meat, butter, and even coconut oil. You should avoid them until your cholesterol levels are down and you are at a healthy weight. Even those that love red meats can enjoy seafood and nuts for
their main sources of protein. Monounsaturated fats such as olive oils will help you to protect your heart. Olive oil is an ideal choice for cooking, dressing, or even as a dipping sauce.
Plenty of fiber
Fiber can help you control your cholesterol. You can find fiber in whole grain products to help control sugar absorption as well, which will help you keep your digestive system healthy.
Eating for your heart involves staying away from sugary foods such as candy, cookies, cakes, and pastries. Eating a lot of sugar isn’t good for your heart disease at all. Healthy carbohydrates involve whole grain breads, whole grain pasta, brown rice, and a lot of vegetables. You should make fruits and vegetables the main aspect of your diet.
Healthy cooking methods
Stir frying and sauteing with olive oil or canola oil are both great methods, as you shouldn’t dip your food in batter and fry it anymore. If you cook chicken, remove the skin and bake it in the oven in foil. Instead of frying your fish you should always bake it. Steaming your vegetables can help maintain the most nutrients. You should not use cream sauces or lots of butter either. When you eat vegetables, try squeezing lemon juice on them or using your favorite seasonings.
Cooking with Oils
Everyone knows the foods to eat that improve health, although how we cook the food can be just as important. With there being so many oils and butter products claiming to be the best, it can be quite difficult to know which ones to use and which ones to avoid.
- Canola oil
Canola oil is a popular oil, with many physicians claiming that it has the ability to lower the risk of heart disease. The oil is low in saturated fat, high in monounsaturated fat, and offers the best fatty acid composition when compared to other oils. You can use canola oil in baking, sauteing, as a marinade and even in low temperature stir frying. It has a bland flavor, which makes it a great oil for foods that contain many spices. Unlike other oils, this one won’t interfere with the taste of your meal.
- Olive oil
Olive oil offers a very distinct flavor with plenty of heart healthy ingredients. The oil is rich in monounsaturated fat, helps to lower cholesterol levels and reduce risk of cancer. It’s also rich in antioxidants and has a very long storage life. Even though it can be used in cooking, it’s the healthiest when uncooked, such as with a salad or dipping sauce. When you use it with cooking, you should heat it on low to medium temperatures, making sure to avoid high heat.
Butter is one food that has been around for many, many years. Butter tastes good, and offers sources of Vitamin A and other fat soluble vitamins such as E, K, and even D. Butter is also made from natural ingredients and not chemically or artificially
processed. You can use butter with cooking, baking, or even as a spread. You can also pair it with creamy sauces, marinades, baked dishes, or even bread.
Margarine was first introduced as an alternative to high fat butter. When it was first created however, it was loaded with trans fat, a substance that we know know raises bad cholesterol. As a cooking oil, margarine tastes good, it’s lower in fat than most oils and butter, and it’s quite easy to spread. It’s available in a variety of different products and a good source of vitamin E.
When it comes to cooking with oils, there are several at your disposal. There are many more than what is mentioned here, although the ones above are the most popular. Eating healthy involves cooking healthy food – which is where your cooking oil really takes center stage.
As you make the proper changes to your diet, keep in mind that it takes time for them to become habits. Eating healthy is always great for your body and your lifestyle, especially when it comes to your heart and the prevention of heart disease. For more information related to healthy eating and living well , visit Livestrong.com or the American Heart Association.
Additional information can be found by clicking here. As always, Achieve * Prosper * Grow!