Simple, Healthy Food Swaps to Feed Your Heart
The heart wants what it wants, but it needs a healthy diet to do its job well. Treating your heart to healthy foods at each meal really isn’t as difficult as you think. CaroMont’s Community Wellness Registered Dietitian, Meghan Gregory, says “Nothing should be avoided when it comes to your food options. Instead, simply limit consumption of a few foods, like red meat, and replace them with more plant-based proteins, poultry and fish.”
One simple trick for a stronger heart? Learn to fall in love with plant-based foods. Eating certain foods can heavily increase your risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death among Americans, so Gregory suggests introducing fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds into your meals every day. Feel like you need something with a little more substance? Poultry and fish are heart-friendly meats that are high in protein, which can lower cholesterol and blood pressure and help you maintain a healthy weight — all of which reduces your risk of heart disease. You can also find protein in plant-based foods such as lentils, chia seeds, quinoa, almonds and chickpeas (hello, hummus!).
The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week, and Gregory is happy to oblige. For her, salmon is at the top of her heart-healthy foods list because it provides copious amounts of omega-3 fatty acids that have been proven to lower risk of an irregular heartbeat and plaque build-up in your arteries.