When you have lost people you love due to heart issues, or have seen others not be able to participate in things they love to do because of their heart, it makes you think about what you need to do to keep your heart healthy. Exercise, rest and good eating habits are all things we know in general we need to do. Today, I was reading and article and found out that following a Mediterranean diet is good for your heart! Who knew?! Here are a few things that you can add to your diet now to help keep your heart healthy longer.
Forget (some) Fats - Use olive oil and canola oil instead of butter or margarine when you can. These are lower in saturated fats. Also lower your dairy to 2 cups a day. *Don't eliminate dairy. Calcium is needed as you get older too, to protect your bones.
Plants a Plenty - Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains over refined ones and nuts as part of your protein intake. *Don't focus on one of these over the others. All have their own virtues and flaws so keeping a balance of these items is better for your heart and the rest of your body.
Fish is the Focus - Avoid red and processed meats and add more seafood to your diet. Healthy fats abound in tuna and salmon and lower calories are a bonus in other fish as well. *As with other things, eat a balance. Different types of seafood offer different benefits. Some are higher in omega-3 fats which are also good for your memory and eye health.
A Mediterranean diet has a lot of these things already built in. Do some research and start with some recipes you think you will enjoy. You may find there are a lot of things you already enjoy that are also actually good for you. Of course, just a diet change isn't enough to have a healthy heart. If you have heart disease in your family, you need to keep up good health checks with your doctor, exercise regularly and also work on lowering your stress. All of these things should help you have a good head start to good heart health.--Jen Lush