You know your food choices can have an impact on your waistline, but did you know that your diet can have an equally large effect on your heart health? Choosing heart healthy foods can help make sure your cardiovascular system runs at its best, helping reduce your risk factors for heart disease and stroke. A circulation doctor in Hackensack recommends adding the following five foods to your diet to help make it as heart-friendly as possible.
Five delicious foods New Jersey residents can eat for a healthy heart
When you start building a heart healthy diet, take a close look at where you get your protein. Try to switch out fatty meats, cold cuts, and bacon for lean meats high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is a great place to start. This cold water fish is full of healthy fats that can lower your triglyceride levels. Put some salmon on the next time you fire up the grill, or add it to your favorite pasta dish or salad.
Speaking of salads, fresh fruits and vegetables are another crucial component of a heart healthy diet. Not only are fruits and vegetables high in fiber and low in calories, they can also help you be less apt to eat high-fat foods. Stay away from vegetables with heavy, creamy sauces or fruit that is packed in sugary syrup. Instead, focus on salads or hot recipes that feature vegetables as a main ingredient.
Hackensack cardiologists recommend keeping an eye on the amount of unhealthy fats you include in your diet. Saturated and trans fats encourage plaque to build up in your arteries, increasing your risk of heart disease. Instead, focus on healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. You’ll find monounsaturated fats in olive or canola oil, while nuts such as walnuts or almonds are a great source of polyunsaturated fats. Keep in mind that even healthy fats are high in calories, so practice portion control when adding these foods to your diet.
You’ve probably heard oatmeal touted as being a heart healthy food. All that hype is for a good reason: oatmeal is great for your heart! It is high in omega-3’s, fiber, and many essential vitamins and minerals. It can also be a great way to add more fruit into your diet: add berries, apple, or banana to your morning bowl to improve its taste.
Finally, add flaxseed to your diet to give yourself an extra boost of fiber and heart healthy omega 3’s. Cardiology specialists in Hackensack recommend flaxseed because it helps lower cholesterol and is an especially easy food to add to your diet. Use a food processer to grind these tiny seeds up into a powder and add it to cereal, applesauce, or yogurt.
Finding the right balance for you
Finding the right balance of heart healthy foods can be difficult. If you feel your diet isn’t quite what it should be, you might need a cardiologist in Hackensack. A cardiologist can help you gain a better understanding of your current heart condition and counsel you on the foods you need to make sure you stay your healthiest. The specialists at Cross County Cardiology would be happy to work with you further to make sure your diet is as it should be. Give us a call at 201-299-4479 or go online to schedule a consultation today.