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Heart Healthy Diet | Tips and Nutritional guidelines

A healthy diet is not only good for your heart but you waistline as well. Try to incorporate heart healthy foods such as fish, healthy nuts raw almonds or walnuts, fresh fruits (strawberries, oranges and cantaloupe), flaxseed, oatmeal, Kidney beans, carrots, papaya, tomatoes, broccoli and spinach.

Eat more fruits and vegetables

Importance source of vitamins and minerals. Try to incorporate fruits, beans, fresh vegetables, herbs, leafy greens, nuts in your salad. This way you get to eat a nice combination of a healthy and balanced diet. To make it tasty, you can add a tsp of olive oil, vinegar and half a tsp of honey. Mix it up and put the salad dressing in your salad. Make sure you add olive oil in the salad dressing at the end, so that oil and vinegar can be mixed together. Instead of fruit juices, try to eat whole fruits. This way you get to eat all the fiber plus you will feel full quickly enough.

Eat more fiber 

It lowers risk of stroke, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Fiber is found in oats, whole wheat, brown rice, potatoes with skin on, beans, lentils, chickpeas, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Eat more healthy protein

Lean meat, fish, beans, green peas and lentils are good source of protein. Milk and other dairy products can also provide a good source of protein but try to use low fat options such as skimmed milk , low fat yogurt etc.

Use Healthy fat 

We need small amounts of fats in our diet. Olive oil and avocado oil are the healthiest cooking oils. Try to use only cooking oil for cooking and that too in moderation. Avoid deep fried foods or baked goods which tend to be high in sugar, salt and fat content.

Reduce sugar 

We only need no 30 gram (7 and a half tsp - leveled) a day. Avoid readymade pasta sauces, sweetened breakfast cereals, fizzy drinks like cola. Sweet treats such as jalebi, ladoo, gulab jamun, bufi contain a lot of sugar, so try not to eat them every day. Try to keep your daily sugar consumption in check.

Try new ways of cooking 

How we prepare our food is just as important as what we choose to eat. Steaming, boiling and grilling are the healthier than frying , which adds extra fat to your meal. Fried foods such as samosas, pakoras, chips, or fried breads like puris and parathas should not be a regular part of your diet.

Keep salt low 

We all need a small amount of salt in our diet. Our daily salt requirement is 6grams (1 tsp a day). Do not make a habit of eating fast food, condiments, sauces, ready meals, snacks like seviyan, salted nuts and chips, as they tend to be high in salt. When you prepare your food at home, you can control the amount of salt, fat and sugar you take. You can put more healthy food on your table.

Exercise regularly

It can reduce your risk of having a stroke by lowering your blood pressure and helps you maintain healthy weight. It also helps to control your blood sugar, and can improve cholesterol levels. It also reduces stress and depression. Decrease your screen time (e.g., watching television, surfing the Internet, playing computer games) and instead take a walk after dinner. Make 30 minutes of physical activity (five times a week) a regular part of your routine. You can break up your exercise time and spread it throughout the day e.g. 15 minutes of exercise at morning and 15 minutes of exercise at evening.

Eat small portion sizes 

We tend to eat more calories than we need. Extra calories in our diet ends up getting stored in our body as fats. So eat less, eat healthy. To decrease your portion size trying filling up a small plate. This way you will put less food on your plate and in your tummy as well.

Read Nutrition Labels before buying

Use the nutrition facts label and ingredients list when choosing to buy food items. Product ingredients are listed by quantity, from highest to lowest amount. That means that the first listed ingredient is what the manufacturer used the most of. A good rule of thumb is to scan the first three ingredients, because they are the largest part of what you're eating. If the first ingredients include refined grains, some sort of sugar or hydrogenated oils, you can be pretty sure that the product is unhealthy. Instead, try to choose items that have whole foods listed as the first three ingredients. Another good rule of thumb is if the ingredients list is longer than 2–3 lines, you can assume that the product is highly processed.

 

 Remember : Prevention in the best choice


Heart healthy weekly meal plan:

Breakfast:

  • porridge with skimmed milk 1 cup
  • egg white 1
  • Tea
  • 1 tsp flax seed powder ( locally known as 'Alsi', can be sprinkled on your porridge in powdered form)

Breakfast choices 

  • Bran bread only. Do not use white breads
  • Whole wheat tortilla/chappatti ( without salt)
  • Jam 

Mid-morning

  • Fruit salad*
  • 1 cup green tea

*For salad: Apple, avocado, oranges, pear, peach, dates or grape fruit can be used etc

Lunch

  • 1 bowl of salad*
  • Steamed fish (chicken or mutton without fat can also be used. Restrict beef in your diet)
  • Multi grain bread

*For salad: avocados cucumber olives, tomatoes, onion mint can be used.

Evening

  • 3 cups popcorns
  • Cucumber juice

Evening snacks choices

  • Lemon grass tea
  • Digestive biscuits (with caution)
  • Nuts: 4-5 walnuts or almonds

Dinner

  • Daal without oil
  • 1 shami kebab (use chicken)
  • Brown rice (optional)

Dinner options:

  • Vegetable bhujiya with little amount of oil.
  • Whole chick peas
  • Steamed chicken 1 piece

Bedtime

  • Milk (skimmed)
  • Luke warm water with dry husk (ispagol)

Other options: Green tea with cinnamon powder


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