Diet Changes for Better Heart Health
Follow these tips to reduce risk of heart attack
Research indicates that people who change their diets after having a heart attack are less likely to die of heart disease or suffer another cardiac event. In fact, adopting a heart-healthy diet may have as much success in reducing risk of heart attack as taking statin drugs.
Dietary changes that may reduce risk of heart attack
Olive oil instead of butter:
Butter is loaded with saturated fat, which can raise your “bad” LDL cholesterol and lead to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Olive oil is much lower in saturated fat and also contains lots of poly- and monounsaturated fats. When consumed in moderation, these can lower LDL levels.
Veggies instead of crackers:
Many crackers found on the shelves of today’s supermarkets contain trans fats, also known as partially hydrogenated oil. Trans fats are artificially produced and can increase your risk for heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. Fresh-cut veggies make a great snack-time alternative, contain no fat and help you reach your daily fiber goals.
Salmon instead of beef:
Red and fatty/marbled meats are high in saturated fat and cholesterol and tend to be dense in calories. When considering meal options, try opting for salmon instead. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which helps lower triglycerides.
Choose herbs instead of salt:
Excess sodium in the diet over time can raise blood pressure and increase your risk of cardiac-related death. Instead of reaching for the salt shaker, try using herbs, such as garlic, basil, rosemary, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Lemon juice also makes a great marinade for lean meats and veggies.
Choose whole grains instead of refined grains:
As the name implies, whole grains are those that contain the entire grain. Refined grains go through processing, which removes valuable nutrients. Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber, which can help reduce cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Good examples include oatmeal, brown rice, bulgar, quinoa, barley, and 100% whole wheat bread.
Choose flavored water instead of fruit juice:
When we think of heart-healthy diets, we often forget to think about sugar intake. Studies have shown that excess sugar in the diet can raise triglyceride and total cholesterol levels. Most fruit juices are loaded with added sugars that can negatively impact your heart health. Instead, choose flavored seltzer or water infused with fresh fruit!
Home health care support for heart health
Making conscious dietary choices plays an important role in heart health, especially for individuals dealing with chronic illnesses. For those managing health conditions or those recovering post-heart attack, additional care and support may be necessary.
Home health care providers, like Ethos Home Health Care, can help provide education and support, in-home therapy, skilled nursing, personal care, and more. To learn if home health care might be right for yourself or a loved one, please take this free online assessment. For additional questions and information, we invite you to fill out this online form or contact our team at (701) 809-9319.
Published on January 17th, 2024
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Date Last Reviewed: May 3, 2022
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Jane Schwartz, RDN, CLT