According to the American Heart Association, more than 1 in 3 adults has some form of cardiovascular disease. The good news is that 80% of heart disease and stoke can be prevented. Heart disease may be the leading killer of men and women, but exercise and a balanced diet can help to lower the risk. If you have been diagnosed with heart disease or have high blood pressure or cholesterol, a heart-healthy diet can help.
Heart-Healthy Diet Tips:
- Substitute high-fat foods for lower fat alternatives. For example, low-fat yogurt or salsa to top a baked potato rather than butter. Substitute egg whites for a whole egg.
- Adjust eating habits when snacking/eating. For example, when you eat out, ask for sauces on the side. Instead of eating chips, choose to snack on fruits or vegetables.
- Limit saturated fats and cut out trans fats in your diet. These types of fat are known to raise LDL (bad cholesterol level), which increases risk for heart attack and stroke.
- Limit solid fat. Reduce the amount of solid fats like butter and margarine when cooking or serving. Substitute by flavoring meals or dishes with herbs or lemon juice. Remember to trim the fat off of meats you plan on cooking.
- Eat at least 4 1/2 cups of fruit and vegetables each day.
Embracing these simple yet important heart-healthy tips can help to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke and improve health.