Put Your Heart Into Healthy Eating

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Put Your Heart Into Healthy Eating

You have the power to reduce your risk of heart disease

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of American women. Risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and being overweight all increase your personal risk of developing heart disease. A healthy diet can help lower or control these risk factors. So put your heart into healthy eating. Here are five ways to do that:

1. Plan to eat heart healthy. Put together an eating plan that offers the balance of calories that is right for you, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains and low/fat-free dairy products. The number of calories you need each day depends on your age and how physically active you are. Add seafood, lean meats, poultry, beans, eggs and unsalted nuts for protein. Limit saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars. Grill, steam or bake instead of frying, and flavor with spices, not sauces.

[Also read: Spice Watch: Turmeric]

2. Eat smart. Changing your perceptions of how and what you eat really helps. Use smaller plates to help limit portion sizes. Chew slowly and really think about textures and flavors as you eat.

3. Choose healthy snacks. Enjoy treats with fewer calories that fit into your daily eating plan—like a cup of red seedless grapes or a small banana, a cup of cherry tomatoes or five red pepper rings or a half cup of low-fat or fat-free yogurt.

4. Dine out the healthy way. You can eat healthy in restaurants. Control portion size by eating half your entrée, and take the rest home for another meal. Limit calories by choosing foods that are broiled, baked or roasted. Ask for low-sodium options from the menu, and leave off or ask for butter, gravy, sauces or salad dressing on the side.

[Also read: Bribing Us to Eat Less]

5. Find heart-healthy menus to enjoy. How you eat day after day makes a real difference in your health over time. Take a look at how you’re currently eating and compare it with Keep the Beat heart-healthy recipes. Find out more about getting active and living a heart healthier lifestyle

Roslyn Daniels