The American Heart Association has a number of tips for keeping the heart healthy. The American Heart Association’s website offers plenty of information, including free health quizzes and personalized action plans. It also has free healthy recipes and cookbooks, such as Healthy Family Meals and Soul Food Recipes. You can also get a low-fat, low-cholesterol cookbook at the Association’s bookstore. It is worth considering the guidelines when trying to lose weight.
Avoiding high-protein diets
While a high-protein diet may be beneficial for those who are overweight, it can also be detrimental to the heart. In addition to increasing bad cholesterol, animal proteins tend to have a high amount of saturated fats. Besides raising your cholesterol, these fats promote inflammation. Eating more plant-based proteins is a healthier choice for heart health. It also fosters a healthier planet.
Avoiding starchy vegetables
The American Heart Association diet recommends limiting saturated fats and increasing your intake of mono and polyunsaturated fats. Saturated fats are commonly found in meats, poultry, dairy products, and tropical oils and raise “bad” cholesterol. They increase the risk of atherosclerosis. To reduce your intake of saturated fats, eat more plant-based foods like nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
Avoiding sugary drinks
One of the easiest ways to cut added sugar is by avoiding sugary drinks, including sports drinks, juice, and soda. The American Heart Association recommends that you read nutrition labels carefully before you buy anything. Be sure to check the serving size and not just drink the whole bottle. Drink plenty of water and fruit juices. If you do want a sweet drink, make a fruit smoothie instead of soda.
Choosing whole-grain foods
A growing body of research shows the health benefits of eating a diet rich in whole grains. Consuming three servings of whole grain each day can help reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer. In addition, reducing refined grain intake can help lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and decrease your risk of diabetes and obesity. If you’re on the American Heart Association diet, choose foods high in fiber and low in sodium.
Limiting saturated fats
The American Heart Association’s guidelines for heart disease prevention emphasize limiting the intake of saturated fats. Saturated fats are a type of fat found in animal products, and the government recommends that you limit your intake to five to six grams per day. That’s about one-third of your total daily calories. This figure equates to 11 to 17 grams of saturated fat. However, experts say that consuming these fats is not always necessary for a healthy diet.
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