Saturday, January 29, 2011

Heart Disease Prevention

Heart disease is one of the biggest killers in our society today. Everyday we make decisions that will help or hurt our heart health, yet most of us today think of these as inconsequential. It is true that you should indulge every now and then (or else you might go crazy), but it is imperative that you attempt to do something good for your heart on a daily basis. Whether it be exercising or eating more antioxidant foods like fruits/veggies, make sure it becomes part of your routine.

With this knowledge in hand, let us look at various ways that we can live better.

  • Reduce unhealthy fat and cholesterol intake - this is one of the most important things you can do to keep your body running efficiently. Eating too many saturated or trans fats will lead to clogged arteries, high blood pressure and eventually congestive heart failure. The more vitamin rich food you eat, the more you can counteract these life shortening effects.

  • Eat more fruit and vegetables - what a no-brainer as an extension to the previous point. Fruits and vegetables consist mostly of water, fiber and tons of different vitamins and minerals. It's no surprise that they are the foods that will fuel your body the best while doing the least harm.

  • Eat more protein - please be sure to focus on low fat and low cholesterol options. Skim milk, salmon, chicken and egg whites are great sources of protein that are also low in calories. As we all know, the key to weight loss is burning more calories than you consume - without starving yourself, obviously.

  • Eat more whole grains - you know you like wheat bread more than white. Whole grains give food a nuttier and more pronounced flavor when compared to refined foods. Your goal is to eat foods that are more natural, and heavily processed white flour or other colorless foods are the exact opposite. These types of food are devoid of nutritional value, and generally will turn into fat if you don't burn them off quickly. Whole grains contain much higher levels of fiber which will aid in digestion.

  • Plan your meals in advance - if you don't you'll be tempted by the dark side. Bad eating decisions happen when you are rushed, hungry and just need to eat. On the other hand, if you prepared 5 days worth of healthful and nutritious meals on Sunday, you would be a lot less likely to grab a high-fat/high-calorie lunch or dinner.
It can seem like a daily grind to eat healthy if you haven't done it before, but you must eat well in order to prevent the many diseases and ailments that become more common as you get older. If you follow a few simple steps, you can dramatically reduce the chances that you are victim to heart disease. Make it your resolution to make better food decisions and your body will surely repay - that I can assure you!

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