Are you constantly worrying about your health and how it relates to your lifestyle and feeling guilty if you ever slip up? Don’t. Leading a healthy heart lifestyle can be easy and will help you build up strong cardiovascular health that is strong enough to handle occasional indulgences according to the American Heart Association (AHA). This recommendation is based on a study conducted by the American College of Cardiology that found that what’s most important when it comes to overall health is to be mindful of your dietary and exercise patterns, not to obsess over each and every morsel you ingest. Heart health should be an important concern for everyone. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults have high or elevated blood pressure and one-third have elevated levels of bad cholesterol, LDL. The American Heart Association is constantly working hard to help reduce the incidences of heart disease and stroke in America. It’s the only way to change this pattern to help current and future generations.
So how exactly can we protect our hearts? Eating well and exercising regularly is critical to preventing heart disease and stroke. The AHA encourages eating a diet based in more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish and nuts. They also recommend reducing red meat and avoiding sugary foods and beverages. Certain foods such as sodium and saturated fats should be limited, while trans fats should be avoided altogether. These dietary practices should be a common place every day practice, leaving room for the occasional holiday splurge.
Once you understand the basic principles of eating healthy, modifying recipes is not difficult. Healthy eating patterns can easily be adapted based on a person’s cultural and food preferences. Here are some links to our favorite heart healthy recipes to get you started on the right path:
- Healthy Spinach Walnut Pesto Pasta
- Slow Cooker Orange Sugar Snap Beef
- Warm Collard Jalapeno Ranch Dip
- Chicken Souvlaki Mini Pita Pizzas
- Marinated Greek-Style Cod Fillets
- Sesame Bok Choy Salad
What are some of your favorite heart healthy recipes? Lichtenstein, A.H. “Diet and lifestyle recommendations revised 2006”, Circulation Journal of the American Heart Association, American Heart Association, 2006, 21 Feb 2014, http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/114/1/82.full.pdf.