We all know that it is important to follow a good diet in order to be healthy. But, did you also know that following a healthy, well-balanced diet can also help to prevent certain diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, as well as many other health problems? There is so much good that a healthy diet can do, and with all of the delicious, healthy food choices available, it is actually pretty easy to eat well and stay healthy. Many people think that you need to go on a vegetarian diet for disease prevention, but there are many diets that include meat that will also encourage good health.
Heart disease affects millions of people all over the world. There are many different forms of heart disease, including coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, pericardial disease, aorta disease, vascular disease, and congenital heart disease, just to name a few. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among both men and women in the US, and it kills more women than breast cancer.
Forget Fad Diets
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different fad diets out there, many promoting weight loss. Others do say that they are heart healthy, but, most of these diets are not healthy at all, because they do not contain all of the nutrients that we need in order to be healthy and to help prevent diseases, and making sure that we are healthy in the future as well. The best type of diet is the common sense diet. Eat foods that you know are good for you and cut back on the junk food. Make sure to allow yourself the occasional unhealthy treat. It isn't going to do any damage if you are eating a healthy diet, unless you are on a restricted diet for certain health conditions and diseases, such as diabetes.
A Heart Healthy Diet Can Help Prevent Heart Disease
There are many different and delicious foods that you can have in your healthy diet that will help in the prevention of heart disease. What you need to do is research to find out which foods are heart healthy and which ones are not. Obviously, it is a good idea to make sure that your diet is a low-fat one, because fat can build up and is a risk factor in heart disease. Less than 30% of your daily caloric intake should come from fat (good fats, which are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated). The American Heart Association recommends that a heart healthy diet include 50% good carbohydrates (complex carbs and not simple ones), 35% proteins, and 15% fats.
A heart healthy diet should include at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Sometimes this can be difficult, but, you aren't limited to eating fruits and vegetables. You can enjoy juice as well, which provides the exact same nutrients, especially if you make the juice yourself with a juicer. You should also be getting at least six servings of whole grains every day, or other fiber rich foods, such as nuts, peas, and beans.
Cutting Back on Cholesterol for Heart Health
Having high levels of cholesterol in the body can lead to many health conditions, including heart disease, so it is important to try and cut back on foods that are high in cholesterol. A healthy diet should include no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol per day, which is found in organ meats, full-fat dairy products, and egg yolks. Go ahead and enjoy the egg whites. They are a great source of protein and have no cholesterol. To help cut back on your cholesterol intake, only eat meat if it is lean and make sure that all of the dairy products you eat are low-fat.
Quit Smoking and Cut Back On Alcohol
Many years ago, it was fashionable to smoke and drink. We saw people doing it in all of our favorite movies and television programs, and the television and movie industry actually glorified both habits. These days, we understand that smoking is incredibly bad for our health and that heavy drinking can be deadly also. It is alright to have the occasional social drink though. In fact, studies have shown that it is actually very healthy to have one glass of wine a day. If you are a smoker, it is important that you take steps to quit immediately. The sooner you quit, the sooner you will be on your way to good health. There are many aids available to help you quit smoking, and your physician may have some advice for you as well, or even medications to help you with the quitting process.
Make Sure You Are Getting All of the Proper Nutrients
We need to have a certain amount of specific vitamins and nutrients in order to be healthy and prevent heart disease and other health conditions. Sometimes, it is not always possible to get all of the nutrients you need from dietary sources. Some of these reasons may include not having time to have a healthy breakfast, eating junk food instead of a healthy meal, and being on a restricted diet for other health conditions. If you are not getting the nutrients you need from your diet, you can use supplements to make sure that you are getting all of the proper vitamins and nutrients that will help to prevent heart disease.
If you are planning on making any significant dietary changes and want to learn more about dieting for good health, you really should consult with your physician. This way, you will know that the diet plan you choose is one that will promote your good health and will make you at less of a risk of developing heart disease.
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