It is a well-known fact that the food we eat will make a huge difference in how we feel and how healthy we will be.
An appropriate diet is especially important to people who already suffer from a certain disease or to those who are trying to protect their health and avoid certain health conditions they are prone to develop.
For those who want to keep their hearts healthy and are trying to reduce the risk of a heart attack, the following list of groceries is the one to stick to.
1. Fruits & Vegetables
This information is not new but the significance of regularly eating fruits and vegetables is no less important because of that.
Your heart needs the vitamins and minerals in them, as well as polyphenols and antioxidant, and the biggest amount of them can be found in fresh fruit and vegetables. So, eat them raw whenever you can.
Most people love bananas, apples, and berries, but don’t forget other types of fruit like grapes or dried fruit. Also, vegetables like spinach, kale, and broccoli often end up ignored, and they shouldn’t. As far as potatoes are concerned, better opt for roasted red potatoes and sweet potatoes than for white potatoes.
2. Dairy Products
They are an excellent source of calcium, which is good for your heart. However, you should stick to low-fat and nonfat products and forget about the cream. None of the dairy products is out of the limits, as long as it isn’t rich in fat. So, feel free to buy cottage or ricotta cheese, skimmed milk, nonfat yogurt, and buttermilk.
The alternative options are almond milk and soya milk if you are lactose-intolerant. Just make sure they are fortified with calcium and unsweetened.
3. Nuts & Seeds
Omega-3s in nuts and seeds are very beneficial to our hearts. The important thing is not to go overboard with them, meaning you should eat the daily amount that fits into your hand.
Choose the ones without salt, and change them from time to time.
The most usual ones in stores are sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds. If you like macadamia nuts and cashews, reduce the amount (less than a handful), as they are a lot richer with saturated fats.
4. Fats & Cooking Oils
This is where many people get lost, as there are so many different cooking oils that have different effects depending on the cooking temperature. It is totally ok to consult a respectable cardiologist on the right type of cooking oils you should stick to if you want to protect your heart and arteries.
In essence, olive oil, grape seed oil, and canola oil are the safe bet as they have the lowest amount of saturated fats. However, some of them, like olive oil, lose their beneficial effects when used at high temperatures.
If you can’t give up margarine, look for the ones fortified with one of the oils mentioned above. And under no circumstances should you go for anything else than trans-fat free margarine.
If you prefer butter, reduce the amount you use on a weekly basis and look for the unsalted packaging.
5. Whole Grains
They are full of dietary fiber and reduce the cholesterol in your blood. So, whatever your buying (rice, bread, pasta or cereals), always opt for the packaging that says “whole grain”. You can also get your daily need for grains in the form of quinoa seeds, flax seeds, and barley.
Something to keep in mind: Whole grain is only slightly better than refined grains, so be sure to keep your grain consumption under control as it also has addictive properties.
Healthy groceries should become the main part of your everyday menu. By being disciplined day after day when it comes to your diet is a sure way to a strong and healthy heart.
Mia Johnson is a freelance writer with a ten-year long career in journalism. She has written extensively about health, fitness, and lifestyle. A native to Melbourn, she now lives in Sidney with her 3 dogs where she spends her days writing and taking care of her 900 square feet garden.