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Heart Healthy Diet Guidelines

We need to take good care of our heart in order to live a long and healthy life. We can start by making good decisions in the way we eat and exercise for the entire family. Selecting foods that are low in saturated fat is a good start. Saturated fat raises your blood cholesterol level and it can be very dangerous if you are overweight or obese. Select foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains which have a high fiber content and are low in fat.

Not all foods that contain fat are bad but we need to select foods that are are low in saturated fat. If you look closely at the food labels, most foods that are high in fat are also high in saturated fat so we need to be careful here. It’s also about how many calories you eat, so the less fat we take in, the fewer calories we’ll end up eating.

We also need to choose foods that are low in cholesterol. Lowering our LDL-cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and raising our HDL-cholesterol (good cholesterol) is a great way to maintain a healthy heart. Having too much LDL cholesterol can form a thick deposit in the artery walls, making them narrower and putting our chances at a heart attack or stroke very high. High levels of HDL (good) cholesterol help protect the heart and decrease our chances of heart disease.

People who are overweight are at a higher risk for getting heart disease so it’s very important to lose and maintain a healthy weight. Losing even a few extra pounds can go a long way in lowering bad cholesterol and raising good cholesterol levels.

Make changes to your diet gradually and slowly. You want healthy eating to be a permanent fixture for you and your family so concentrate on doing simple changes that are not extreme. By doing things slowly, the chances of sticking to a new eating plan are greater than changing things rapidly. Try mixing things up at the dinner table for your and your family.

Eating healthy does not have to be boring. You can look for recipes that taste great and will almost taste like the real thing. For example, there’s a great recipe made out of cauliflower that taste just like mashed potatoes. It’s a healthy recipe and one that the entire family enjoys. You can look for similar recipes that can replace some of your high fat, high cholesterol foods.

Make sure you find some time for you and your family to exercise. This can be anything from a simple jog to hiking, bike riding or brisk walking. Make things fun and enjoyable and your heart will thank you for it