Healthy diet to prevent cardiovascular diseases

Many people are aware that the consumption of certain foods can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, although changing eating habits can be difficult in some cases.

For this reason, the Mayo Clinic health institution, provided some recommendations for a heart-healthy diet, specifically suggesting several foods to eat.

Control portion size

The portal provided some simple tips to control the size of the portion, which can help the diet and take care of the heart:

  • Use a small plate or bowl to help control portions.
  • Eat more low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables
  • Eat smaller amounts of foods that are high in calories and sodium, such as fast, processed, or refined foods.

It is also important be aware of the number of servings that are eaten. For this, it is important take into account the following:

  • Serving size is a specific amount of food defined by common measurements, such as cups, ounces, or slices. For example, a serving of noodles is ⅓ to ½ cup, or about the size of a hockey puck. One serving of meat, fish, or poultry is 2 to 3 ounces, or about the size and thickness of a deck of cards.
  • The recommended number of servings per food group may vary depending on the specific diet or guidelines followed.
  • Being able to determine the proper portion size is a learned skill. Measuring cups, spoons, or a scale may need to be used until judgment can be trusted.

Likewise, Mayo Clinic suggested consuming a greater amount of fruits and vegetables, which are an important source of vitamins and minerals for the body.

“Vegetables and fruits are also low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. Vegetables and fruits, like other plants or plant foods, contain substances that can help prevent cardiovascular disease. Eating more fruits and vegetables can help you reduce your intake of caloric foods, such as meats, cheese, and snacks.

Additionally, he pointed out that whole grains are good sources of fiber and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health.

To include these foods in diets, simple replacements for refined grain products can be added or a new whole grain, such as farro, can be triedquinoa or whole barley.

Another recommendation is to limit the amount of saturated fats and trans fats that are consumed, because in this way the level of cholesterol in the blood is controlled and the risk of coronary artery disease is reduced.

A high level of cholesterol in the blood can cause a buildup of plaque in the arteries, called atherosclerosis, which can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

To reduce the consumption of saturated fats and trans fats, it is advisable to:

  • Trim fat from meat or choose lean meats with less than 10% fat.
  • Use less butter, margarine, and fat when cooking and serving.
  • Use low-fat substitutes when possible for a heart-healthy diet. For example, flavor baked potato with a low-sodium sauce or low-fat yogurt instead of butter, or use cut-up whole fruit or low-sugar fruit jam on toast instead of margarine.