One of the biggest factors in your life when it comes to the health of your heart is your diet. Your heart is the driving force of your cardiovascular system. This system can be severely affected if you’re not eating the right foods.
Many of us understand that a lot of unhealthy foods lead directly to heart problems. But the problem many of us face is that we don’t understand how it happens. And when we don’t know exactly what these unhealthy foods are doing to our bodies, it’s easier to “abstract” the problem from ourselves. Sure, we know it’s bad. But how?
The two staples of the average diet that you’ll no doubt have heard damage the health of your heart are fats and salt. Fats (and also cholesterol) lead to a buildup of plaque in your blood vessels. Over time, this makes it harder for blood to travel through them. It means the heart has to pump harder to get the blood around your body.
This is what eventually causes it to wear out sooner than it might have done without all those fatty foods. With salt – or sodium – the problem is similar. It creates a fluid imbalance in your body, which makes the heart have to work harder.
Fruit and vegetables
So how can we make sure we’re eating foods that don’t do horrendous damage to our hearts? To start off, a good rule of thumb is to eat more fruit and vegetables. You’ll no doubt have heard this advice before! But you’re probably underestimating just how good for you.
Some people tend to focus on the amount of sugar found in a lot of fruit. But the sheer number of essential vitamins and minerals found in them almost cancel that out completely. If you’re having trouble eating more, why not try consuming them via the magic of smoothies?
How you’re cooking your meals
A thing that affects your heart in a big way isn’t always what you eat, but how you cook it. The oil you use for roasting or frying, for example, is very important. Something that is gaining a lot of popularity recently is the use of blended oil. Because different oils have different health benefits – olive, canola, grape seed etc. – many have taken to blending them to get more benefits. There’s premium blended cooking oil available here.
Whatever oil you’re using, you should try putting more focus into roasting or baking instead of frying.
Reducing dairy intake
Dairy products are often high in fat. If you’ve forgotten why fats will damage your heart, then you must have quite a poor memory because I told you just a few paragraphs ago! Of course, there are a number of health benefits to several dairy products. But consider for a moment how much dairy you consume. A lot of people are consuming more than they should be!
Even if you’re not planning on switching to a vegan lifestyle, you should still explore dairy-free options. Milk alternatives like soya, oat milk and almond milk are much better for you. They don’t taste as different as you might imagine! Most dairy-free butter alternatives also taste pretty good. Decent dairy-free cheese can be much harder to find, though!