It’s American Heart Month, which means it’s an excellent time to examine the lifestyle choices that can affect your heart health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report heart disease as the leading cause of death for people of all demographics in the United States.
Protecting your heart health is of the utmost importance, and there are a number of steps you can take this year to prevent cardiovascular disease—starting with a healthy diet. Eating well is not as hard as you think but requires developing good daily habits. How much does it matter if we choose butter or olive oil? Does red wine protect your heart? Is pink Himalayan salt really healthier than traditional table salt?
At Brandermill Woods, we understand these concerns and provide residents with ample resources to assist in leading a healthy lifestyle. Here are 3 tips for a healthier diet that can improve your heart health.
- Monitor your use of butter: It can be tempting to add butter to most dishes for that extra creamy texture and added flavor. However, be mindful of your butter intake because it increases both the good and bad levels of cholesterol in your body. Over time, high levels of bad cholesterol clog your arteries and can lead to a variety of health complications including heart attack and stroke. Along with monitoring and limiting your intake, you can also consider an alternative such as olive oil.
- Limit your sugar intake: We understand that this one can be especially difficult if you have a sweet tooth but it’s not impossible. Your body does need sugar in order to supply your brain with glucose and supply energy to the cells in your body. On the downside, eating too much sugar often leads to weight gain and complications that put you at risk for heart disease. Consume natural sugars by eating fruits and examine the sugar content on food labels as many products have more added sugars than you would expect. If you like to snack, ensure that you always have healthy options available such as fruits, dark chocolate and nuts.
- Increase your consumption of omega-6 fats: There have been claims that omega-6 causes inflammation, however, research has not identified a link between the two. In fact, omega-6 is a fatty acid that contributes to a heart-healthy diet and can also aid in preventing heart disease. As the body is unable to naturally produce omega-6, it has to be sourced through your diet. Great sources include oils (canola and olive), nuts (walnuts), seeds (sunflower and sesame) and tofu.
Along with a balanced diet, our fitness programs and resources at Brandermill Woods will assist you in living a healthier and happier lifestyle. Get in touch to learn more!