30 Day Diet to a Healthier Heart
Written by Diet Bites
Slashing Heart Risks & Heart Attack Via Daily Diet
Although genetics play a vital role in heart risks, anyone can achieve a healthier heart in just 30 days by incorporating the following foods and tips into their daily diet and personal schedule. Better yet - our tips are easy, nutritious and yes, delicious - and can slash heart attack risk by 1/3 to 1/2 or more!
Awe Nuts! Enjoy about an ounce of nuts per day. Eating 5 ounces of nuts per week can slash heart attack risks by 1/3. Click here for calories in nuts.
The Salt of the Earth: Cutting salt (sodium) in the diet will not only take your heart to a healthier level, it can also discourage water retention which in turn generates temporary weight gain. For the recommended amount of salt the average individual requires click here.
Green Tea: Enjoy 3 cups of decaf green tea daily.
The Egg Factor: Eggs are rich in cholesterol and while the current recommendation is one egg per day (which not only includes the whole eggs we eat, but also the eggs used in the foods that we eat) the verdict is still out regarding the unhealthy effects eggs have on the heart. With carb restricted diets remaining a popular fellow on the Weight Loss Block, eggs have their chance to prove their heart risks, as eggs are a popular food in low carb diets. Until that time, opting for egg substitutes makes a safe choice. As a note, the cholesterol of the egg is found in the yolk - not the white, so when making 2 egg omelets, try opting for 2 whites and 1 yolk. You'll barely notice the taste difference.
Green Tea: Enjoy 3 cups of decaf green tea daily.
Olive Oil: Make cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil your go-to oil, ditching those little yellow differences such as butter and margarine.
Dark Chocolate: Enjoy a bit of dark chocolate (such as a dark chocolate Kiss) for heart healthy benefits.
Exercise: Safer than drugs which help with the cholesterol issue, and in most cases - exercise is more effective, cutting heart attack risk by 50%. Click here to view our activity burn chart which will tell you how many calories you can burn for a given activity while you are strengthening the biggest muscle in your body - your heart. How much exercise? Walking every other day for about 1/2 to 3/4 hour. Be sure to build up to that if you're currently inactive, and of course - when in doubt, ask your doctor for your personal recommendation.
Fish: Enjoy fish 3 times per week in place of red meat. Go Omega 3's!
Alcohol: One to three ounces per day can reduce heart attack risk, but can also elevate blood pressure and trigger an unhealthy habit. Check with your doctor to determine personal needs/recommendations.
Flaxseeds: Two tablespoons daily can discourage blood clots.
Fiber Up! 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day can help slash heart attack risk.
Limit Nitrates: Links between Nitrates and cancer have been established, among other ill-health woes. And foods containing Nitrates tend to be high in sodium.
Orange Juice: The folic acid in orange juice assists in lowering levels of homocysteine which has been associated with heart attack risk. Homocysteine is an amino acid in the body influenced not only by diet, but also by genetic factors. Elevated amounts of homocysteine has been associated with increased heart risks, including peripheral artery disease in which fatty deposits build up in the peripheral arteries of the body. Embracing folic acid and the B Vitamins assist in breaking down homocysteine. The current recommendation for folic acid is 400 mcg daily.
Orange juice is also rich in Vitamin C and assists in boosting immunity and in oral dental health. One cup of orange juice contains 124 mg of Vitamin C.
Grape Juice: Contains flavonoids and resveratrol - antioxidants which discourage blood clotting. Resveratrol has also been proven in health studies to slow the ageing process in mice. Click here for a list of foods containing resveratrol.
Pass the Garlic: Helps prevent blood clots.
Don't Smoke - Don't Dope: Studies indicate that smoking increases health risks 4 times more than being significantly overweight. As to the drugs, limit caffeine which can increase blood pressure, as well as trigger additional ill effects such as insomnia.
The Fat Factor & Heart Attack: Limit daily fat intake to 20% - 35% of total calories with fat sources derived from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids such fish and nuts.
Daily Calorie Needs: Keep daily calories in check. To get an estimate of your daily calorie needs, click here. You'll also discover the amount of foods in the Official Food Pyramid that you need to eat to keep heart attack at bay. Fruits and vegetables should be very high on your Heart-Healthy Totem Pole. As to the vegetables, embrace the cruciferous (cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli).
Recommended Weight: Keep daily calories in check. To get an estimate of your daily calorie needs, click here.
Aspirin Therapy: May be highly beneficial in reducing risk for heart attack, but discuss with your doctor first.
Mixed Bag of Healthy Notes: If you have a pet that doesn't generate stress, that's a heart-healthy plus, as is adequate rest, relaxation, a spiritual connection and a good support group consisting of friends and family.