It is never too late to make changes that can improve the health of your heart. The simplest changes to begin with concern your diet. It is usually recommended that you begin by changing one area of your eating habits at a time, rather than go for a radical overhaul. This lets your body and mind adjust to the changes easier and increases your ability to stick your new lifestyle. Here are 7 tips for a heart healthy diet. If you utilize a tip each week, in less than two months you can be in the habit of eating in a way that cares for your heart.
Tip #1 – Whole grains
Switching to whole grains has gotten much easier. There are many products such as whole grain cereals, breads and pasta you can choose instead of your regular brands. You can focus on adding more brown rice, barley, buckwheat, steel cut oats, whole grains and ground flaxseed products in your diet.
Tip #2 – Fruit and veggies
Many people drop the ball on adding enough fruits and vegetables to their diet because they believe that fresh produce is expensive and can hard to keep. Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables can be equally as good and easier to keep on hand. Just read the labels to make sure they are not packed in sugars or syrups or have sugar and salt added in, something surprisingly common with frozen vegetables. A good way to know what fruits and vegetables are good to eat together is to arrange your plate by color. The more colorful your plate, the better the balance of the healthy foods on it.
Tip #3 – Cut the salt
Try a salt substitute to lower your salt intake, but be mindful that MSG hasn’t been used to replace it (read the label). Some people are very sensitive to MSG and can experience problems. Ground pepper, crushed garlic and turmeric are popular salt substitutes. Pay extra attention to the nutrition labeling on your food too so you can make sure you are picking low salt choices.