• 6 Eating Tips to Finding Your Heart-healthy Diet

    by Caroline Ryther
    on Sep 3rd, 2018

With as many as 610,000 Americans dying of heart disease every year (2017 statistics), it’s becoming more common for people to turn to healthier diets (and lifestyles, in general) in order to lower the risk of having a heart attack or another cardiovascular condition. However, seeing that there’s no universal heart-healthy diet formula, a lot of people who do opt to change their eating habits are unsure of what they should and shouldn’t eat.

At one point, a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet would’ve been the obvious answer, but research has shown that eating foods with cholesterol most likely doesn’t have that much of an influence on your cholesterol levels, whereas consuming processed foods with a “low fat” label can be extremely detrimental to our health.

As you would expect, each diet (low-carb, Mediterranean, and plant-based, just to name a few) has its own advocates who will go out of their way to prove why their particular choice is the best one for you. And while each of these regimes has testimonials of success, we have found that the best thing you can do is not overcomplicate things and just focus on eating well, rather than restricting yourself.

With that in mind, here are six simple tips to take into consideration if you wish to keep your heart (and your overall self) in great shape and find a diet that works for you.

1. Realize That One Diet Doesn’t Fit All

We are all very different people, from our personalities to our constitution, so it’s only natural that we won’t respond the same to certain dietary solutions. One person can have fantastic results with a diet they pick, but someone else can get nothing out of it, no matter how hard they try.

When something like this happens, it’s incredibly important not to get discouraged and to remember that just because a diet doesn’t work for you, doesn’t mean that you failed. You just have to be persistent and keep on searching (with the help of your doctor, for example) for the one that will help you achieve your goals.

2. Pick a Diet That You Like

A lot of times, people give up on diets because they hate what they’re supposed to it or because it feels too restrictive. We don’t like feeling deprived—we’re only human, after all—so if we end up eating food that we don’t like, we most likely won’t be able to see it through.

The trick here is to find a balance and an eating style that you’ll actually like, if not love. That is the only way you’ll be able to stick with your food choices and feel happy about them, and about the prospect of becoming healthier by day.

3. Eat a Lot of Vegetables and Plant-based Foods

For some people, this is easier said than done, especially if they prefer eating vegetables to meat. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to give up on meat altogether and go vegan, but making sure that you eat vegetables (which contain high levels of vitamins, minerals, and a lot of other nutrients that can protect your heart) for most of your meals can truly do wonders for your health.

Some of the healthy vegetables you can add to your diet include: broccoli, leafy greens, tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, potatoes, etc.

4. Avoid Highly Processed Foods at All Cost

Processed food typically contains high levels of added sugars (such as high fructose corn syrup) or refined grains (e.g. white flour or white rice), and it’s one of the most common causes of obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure in the United States. Unfortunately, it also makes about 70% of the US diet, which is why it can be difficult for people to avoid them altogether.

However, you should pay attention to what you are eating as much as you can and try to steer clear of highly processed foods to the best of your abilities. If there’s one tips that you should take into consideration the most, it’s this one.

5. Watch Your Portions and Eat Mindfully

Eating a lot won’t get you anywhere, even if what you’re eating is healthy. Always keep an eye out on your portions and, in necessary, eat a couple of times throughout the day, but consume smaller portions. Try to practice mindful eating and use smaller plates in order to do so, and you should be able to see positive results in no time at all.

6. Eat Homemade Food

There’s nothing healthier and better than eating food that you prepared at home, all by yourself. Sure, you might not have a lot of ideas when it comes to recipes, but you can always start with one or two meals that are easy to prepare, yet healthy. In short, you don’t have to be a master chef if you want to cook at home!

Benefits of homemade meals are nothing short of positive—you get to enjoy better quality food, at a lower cost, and far healthier diet than you would if you were to eat out.

Need advice on how to stay healthy? Contact the Neuroscience Center and schedule your consultation today.

Get in touch:

Phone: 847-306-8938

Email: pm@mind.md

Author Caroline Ryther

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