Best Diet Plan for a Healthy HeartSonali Malik
It’s a well-known fact that heart diseases are the leading causes of ill health in most people across the world. Our heart health largely depends on the food we consume. Despite regular exercise and timely medications, you are unlikely to have a healthy heart if you don’t eat right.
While there are certain foods recommended for great heart health, following a full-fledged diet plan for a healthy heart works wonders. So, here are some best diets that are known to improve heart health. Let’s take a look at them in detail.
1. Vegetarian Diet
A vegetarian diet eliminates all kinds of meat including red meat, poultry, and even fish. It emphasizes the consumption of vegetables, fruits, lentils, beans, seeds, nuts, whole grains, and other plant-based foods.
A vegetarian diet also includes a healthy consumption of dairy and eggs as a natural source of protein and other essential vitamins and minerals. A balanced vegetarian diet reduces the risk of heart disease by optimizing blood pressure levels, weight, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol.
The key is to consume minimally processed foods instead of those that are highly refined, heavily processed, and high in added sugar. The biggest benefit of a vegetarian diet is that, unlike the common opinion, there is no shortage of delicious and nutritious foods.
2. DASH Diet
DASH is an abbreviation for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Designed to prevent and help with conditions like high blood pressure and hypertension, the DASH diet effectively reduces the risk of heart problems.
Depending on your calorie requirements, this diet recommends lean meats, low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It is advisable to avoid refined grains, red meat, and added sugars.
You should also limit your intake of sodium to one teaspoon each day. It reduces blood pressure for those suffering from high BP. The DASH diet plays a special emphasis on foods with high fiber including vegetables and whole grains.
3. Mediterranean Diet
A Mediterranean diet, just like the DASH diet, is low in saturated fats, sugar, and red meat. Recommended foods are vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, legumes, olive oil, beneficial spices, and herbs.
Some foods you can have in moderation on a Mediterranean diet include yogurt, cheese, eggs, poultry, seafood, and fish. Combined with an active lifestyle and proper sleep, this diet can prove to be fruitful in improving heart health.
4. Vegan Diet
With plenty of celebrities getting enticed towards vegan diets, the craze has quickly spread to the common masses. While a vegan diet with proper nutrition knowledge can be a boost to your heart health, you have to take care of fulfilling all your nutritional needs.
A vegan diet eliminates all animal products and encourages the consumption of fruits and vegetables, lentils, soy, whole grains, seeds and nuts, and many other plant-based foods. It reduces cholesterol, regulates your weight, and is one of the best diet plan for a healthy heart. However, they make sure that you consult a dietician to avoid any deficiencies.
5. TLC Diet
Here, TLC stands for Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes. Developed and recommended by the National Institutes of Health, this diet comprises both food and lifestyle accommodations for an optimum heart health.
It focuses on maintaining healthy body weight and balanced cholesterol levels. If you choose to follow the TLC diet for a healthy heart, you should eat at least 2 grams of plant sterols, 10 to 25g of fiber, cholesterol limited to 200 mg, and only necessary calories per day.
Supplement it with somewhere around 30 minutes of exercise of moderate intensity to avail the full benefits. Increase your soluble fiber intake by including vegetables, fruits, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, and oat bran in your diet. TLC diet is known to help reduce bad cholesterol levels as long as you combine it with the required physical activity.
What all these diets have in common is that they discourage highly processed foods and those that are high in saturated fat and added sugar. Besides following a diet for a healthy heart it is advisable to refrain from habits such as smoking, excessive drinking, and instant gratification from junk food.
You might also want to keep your stress levels in check as excessive stress can nullify healthy lifestyle habits to a great extent. While the above diets have proven heart benefits, nothing beats a custom-made diet plan according to a specific person’s needs. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a dietician who specializes in personal diet plans.
Get in touch with team Sonali Malik for a diet tailor-made according to your food preferences and health conditions. This will help you come up with a realistic diet with high nutrition quality. That way, you will be able to sustain your newly found healthy lifestyle for the long haul instead of falling back into unhealthy patterns after random crash diets.