Heart Health is so important but knowing where to start with foods to choose for a healthy heart can be a challenge. This guide will help you get started and on the road to a healthier lifestyle.
Choosing healthy food doesn’t need to be boring. In fact, taking a new approach can actually help you find new and exciting flavours and foods that you have never tried before.
The key when looking for foods to choose for a healthy heart is balance. A mixture of fruit, vegetables, fats, sugars and salts is important to ensure you get the nutrients you need.
Recommended Food Groups
As you start creating your shopping list, think about including something from each of the below food groups.
Fruit and vegetables. The recommended amount is 5 portions per day. Seasonal fruit and vegetables, as well as locally grown produce, varies all year round so you can always find something new to try.
Starchy foods, especially wholegrain versions of bread, rice, potatoes and pasta. Starchy foods are a good source of energy. They are also an important source of a range of nutrients including fibre, calcium, iron and B vitamins.
Low-fat milk and dairy products. This food group provides essential Calcium which is important for healthy bones and teeth. They are also rich in other vitamins and minerals which help keep the body healthy.
Protein products such as meat, fish, eggs or beans. Protein helps fuel your energy and carry oxygen throughout your body so is critical for your healthy diet.
Ensuring the choices are lower in fat, salt and sugar can also help maintain a healthy heart.
If you need some inspiration for new recipes, the BBC Good Food Website, has a whole area dedicated to healthy heart recipes. All of them are approved by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), so you know you are using information from a good source!
Why a Healthy Heart is Important
The heart is like a pump that operates by sending blood around your body to keep you alive. Around 5 litres of blood is being continuously pumped around the circulatory system. This blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to all parts of your body. It also carries carbon dioxide and waste products away.
Amazingly, your heart beats around 100,000 times every DAY so we really must look after it!
According to the BHF, a healthy diet can help reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease. It can also stop you from gaining weight which in turn can reduce your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure.
Find Out More
Dr Simaitis has served as a Consultant Cardiologist at the Royal Cornwall Hospital (RCH) for over 15 years. He is now the Clinical Governance Lead for Cardiology at RCH.
Simply click here to get in touch so you can find out more about the clinic or make an appointment.