Is Your Diet Heart Healthy?

Posted on March 8, 2017

healthy heart food

Eating a heart-healthy diet can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, which is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. While there are many ways to measure how healthy a diet is, one of the simplest is to just ask a few basic questions about your eating habits. If you aren’t sure whether your diet is heart-healthy, ask yourself the following questions.

How Many Fruits and Vegetables Have You Eaten in the Past 24 Hours?

Fruits and vegetables are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber, and they tend to be low in fats. Vegetables are also usually low in sugar. While fruits have some sugars, their benefits often outweigh their sugar content for most people, as long as they’re consumed in moderation.

ChooseMyPlate.gov recommends making half of your dietary intake fruits and vegetables. Thus, how many fruits and veggies have you had in the past day? Have they accounted for half of your meals and snacks?

As an added bonus, many fruits and vegetables are good for bones as well as the heart. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends collard greens, broccoli, spinach, potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomato products, green peppers, oranges and many other fruits and vegetables.

If eating foods that are good for both your heart and bones is a special concern of yours, an Osteoporosis doctor at Peconic Bay Medical Center can help you design a specialized diet that takes into account your particular heart and bone health needs. Contact us to make an appointment with one of the doctors at the center.

Are You Eating Until You’re Stuffed?

All foods, regardless of what you eat, should be enjoyed in moderation. If you’re constantly eating until you’re stuffed, you are likely overeating. Continual overeating can lead to weight gain, which often contributes to cardiovascular and other medical issues.

Do You Eat Whole Grains?

Grains account for a large portion of people’s diets, so the type of grain you eat can significantly affect your health. Whole grains, such as whole-wheat flour, oatmeal, barley and quinoa provide fiber and contain nutrients that help the body regulate blood pressure. These are much better options than refined white grains.

How Much Fat Do You Consume?

Some fats are better than others. Consuming unsaturated fats that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in avocados, many nuts and salmon, is better than eating unhealthy fats, such as butter, bacon fat, gravy and creamy sauces. All fats, though, should be consumed in moderation. There are a lot of calories in fat, which is why it’s important to moderate how many fats you have regardless of what they are.

Consider Making Changes to Your Diet

If, after answering these questions, you realize you’re eating an unhealthy diet, consider making changes. Even a small alteration in what you eat could have a significant impact on your heart’s health.

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