Feeding yourself well is a powerful way to reduce your risks of heart disease and cancer. Adopting these nutrition strategies can improve your cholesterol profile, lower your blood pressure, lower your blood sugars, help you lose weight, and reduce your risk of developing many types of cancer. It is choosing to eat foods in variety and foods that are functional.
The focus is on enhancing your diet (foods you can eat) and not restriction (foods you can’t eat). It’s not a diet; it is healthy eating. So eat to your heart’s content.
How Nutritionally Sound Is Your Diet?
Have you fallen into the trap of eating low-fat, but haven’t been able to lose weight, or have actually gained weight? Have you been depriving yourself of foods you love in hopes to lower your cholesterol, improve your blood pressure or blood glucose only to find no improvement or even worsening of these conditions? Has the media confused you on what you should or should not eat?
When you simply focus on low fat eating you tend to take in more calories, less fiber and less recommended nutrients than you need. This is why Preventive Cardiology of Victoria has developed the “Enhancing Your Diet” nutrition plan. We have compiled the latest scientific information about nutrition and heart disease in a menu plan you can use to take the guess-work out of healthy eating.
Ten Strategies That Will Lead To Healthy Eating
- Eat an abundance of vegetables, fruits and whole grains –FIVE a day at least! This will increase fiber & provide vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals necessary to fight heart disease and cancer.
- Choose fats wisely. Limit saturated and trans fatty acids. When you use added fats, they should be high in monounsaturated and omega 3 fatty acids.
- Incorporate new protein foods into your diet. Substitute non-meat meals for meat meals which will greatly reduce saturated fat & cholesterol while at the same time boosting the intake of heart disease/cancer fighting foods.
- Limit dietary cholesterol. Decrease the intake of foods coming from animals (cholesterol is made in the liver and is in all animal products). We make our own cholesterol and can live fine limiting cholesterol intake.
- Eat complex carbohydrates to fuel your body. Complex carbohydrates to give you energy. Limit simple carbohydrates that are empty calories (no nutritional value but can cause weight gain).
- Monitor meal frequency for a healthy lifestyle. Prevents over-eating and offers 3 small meals & 1-2 snacks a day. This is the best way to control blood sugars, burn fat and regulate cholesterol levels.
- De-emphasize salt in your diet to lower blood pressure. Limiting salt and adding foods rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium can lower your blood pressure.
- Emphasize Hydration. Drinking 5-8 glasses of water per day is vital (unless you are on fluid restriction). Opting for a cup of green tea instead of coffee will give you added antioxidants —a health benefit of green tea.
- Move in the right direction towards a more physically active lifestyle. Exercise strengthens your heart & bones, lowers blood pressure and triglycerides, raises HDL, improves blood sugars, helps you lose weight and enhances well-being.
- Enjoy a variety of foods. By having variety in your diet you will enjoy what you eat, feel more in control, feel abundance instead of restriction, and experience satisfaction. Enjoy fruits and vegetables of many different colors.