Better eating with some examples
Consuming the recommended daily servings of certain foods can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and this beneficial effect is almost immediate. Here are some examples of foods that are good for your heart and general health.
- Beef and lean pork and eggs are rich in B vitamins, which lower the level of homocysteine.
- The fish provides omega-3s, which stabilize the heart’s rhythm and fight against the formation of blood clots.
- Chicken and turkey (without the skin) are low in saturated fat (which clogs the arteries) and their protein has a satiety effect.
- Legumes, such as chickpeas, dried beans and lentils, contain high quality protein, and are also one of the best sources of soluble fiber. These fibers carry the “bad” cholesterol to eliminate it from the body and help maintain a good blood sugar level.
- However, some protein-rich foods also contain saturated fat, which in turn increases cholesterol levels and the risk of heart attack. The solution? Below are the types of meat and protein that will help you maintain your saturated fat intake at approximately 7% of your total caloric intake; however, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada recommends a daily fat intake of less than 30%.
- On the menu: fish, chicken, turkey, lean beef, pork, eggs, legumes (lentils, chickpeas …).
- Daily portions: two to three.
- Serving Size: 50 to 100 grams (1/4 cup to 1/3 cup) fish, poultry and meat, 90 grams (6 tablespoons) legumes as main course or 45 grams (3 tablespoons) at the table) as a side dish, 2 eggs.
Fruits and vegetables
- The first humans lived mainly on hunting, fishing and gathering. That’s why our body needs significant amounts of antioxidants, phytosterols (which reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol) and soluble fiber found in fruits and vegetables.
- The protective effect of fruits and vegetables on the cardiovascular system has been repeatedly demonstrated scientifically.
- To stock up on fruits and vegetables, eat nine servings a day, at home and away.
- You can reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers simply by eating whole grains at breakfast. And, if you replace all refined grains in your diet with whole grains, you’ll reduce this risk even more.
- Whole grains are full of vitamins and minerals (vitamins B and E, selenium, zinc, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, iron) that protect the heart, and insoluble fiber that facilitates digestion.
- Some, such as barley and oats, also contain soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels.
- By eating milk with your morning cereals, taking yogurt as a snack in the afternoon and sprinkling your pasta with grated light cheese at night, you will increase the absorption of calcium, a mineral essential for bone development.
- Dairy products also contain high quality protein, B vitamins, zinc and phosphorus.
Dairy products provide calcium without containing saturated fat.