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Healthy Eating For Your Heart

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Healthy Eating For Your Heart

So small changes that you make to your diet can have a really big impact on your heart’s health and that’s why here at Heart Research UK we’re really here to make those small changes for the benefit of your heart.

It’s just about eating a balanced and a varied diet. It will still be a very colourful one to enjoy. The key things are to eat less salt, less fat and less sugar.

What About Salt?

I would say ban the salt cellar from the kitchen. The key thing is not to add salt to your food at the dinner table and not to add it when cooking. Also, when you’re out shopping, look at the food labels and you can often dramatically decrease the amount of salt that’s in your trolley and is therefore about to go into your arteries.

What About Sugar?

Well I think we all have a sweet tooth, which is fine but I think it’s important to keep sweets and cakes and chocolate and things like that as just the occasional treat as part of your healthy balanced diet. What I would say is to watch out for the sugar content in foods that we buy. Again just check the label and keep an eye on that sugar intake. Remember that alot of foods that are high in sugar often are just empty calories so they will lead to weight gain and therefore heart disease later on.

What About Omega 3?

And another thing that we know is really good for your heart and your arteries is Omega 3. These fats are found in oily fish, things like mackerel, kippers, sardines and even shellfish. So by including these in your diet once a week, you can protect your heart and arteries even more. If you’re not a lover of fish there are other plant sources of Omega 3 fats so things like flaxseed or linseed or dark green leafy vegetables, sweet potato. Nuts are a fantastic snack to have for your heart.

What About Fibre?

We musn’t forget fibre. So again our leafy vegetables including beans and pulses, eating whole grain cereals, bread, brown rice and of course porridge is fantastic for your heart.

What About Alcohol?

Well for those of us who do enjoy the occasional drink, alcohol can be part of a healthy balanced diet but we need to drink in moderation. Alcohol is very high in calories and too much alcohol can cause damage to the heart and arteries in the long term. So sticking to the recommended units is a good idea in the long term. The recommendation is 14 units per week for women and 21 units per week for men, spreading it over a week and of course having at least 2 alcohol free days.

10915, Published February 2013

Review Scheduled February 2014

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