The body is an intricate combination of systems that keep the body functioning. As we age these systems naturally deteriorate and make us more susceptible to diseases. Lifestyle and diet have an impact on the body. We are going to focus on the heart and how to keep that “ticker” healthy with the right diet and lifestyle.
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the US. Atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque (cholesterol and fat) in the arteries, which restricts blood flow to the heart, is one of the main causes of heart disease. If part of the plaque breaks off, it may cause a heart attack or stroke.
Here are some N4L tips for heart health:
Follow Serving Sizes
Weight management plays a large role in the risk of cardiovascular events. A healthy diet combined with exercise will help with weight loss over time. Serving sizes also help you consume less calories than you typically would consume. These portions are determined in the nutrition facts. It includes the measurement of the serving size, how many servings are in the package, and the nutrition information.
Consume More Fruits and Veggies
Studies have shown meals this high in fruits, vegetables, and fiber may drastically reduce your risk for heart disease. A plant-based diet helps lower the cholesterol and saturated fat intake and replace it with more fruits and vegetables which promotes a healthy body. Each day of our healthy meal plan from Nutrition for Longevity provides at least 6 servings of fruits and vegetables and at least 25 grams of fiber so you can support your health.
Choose Whole Grains
Fiber is great for heart health. It helps regulate blood pressure by lowering cholesterol in the body. A simple swap from refined grains to whole grains can boost your fiber intake and keep that heart healthy.
Limit Unhealthy Fats
Limiting how much saturated and trans fats you eat is an important step to reduce your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of coronary artery disease. When following The Longevity Diet, the amount of daily calories consumed from fat is less than 30 percent per day. Sources of healthy fats include nuts, seeds, and oils. The Longevity Diet encourages the use of olive oil due to its healthful benefits. Check out our Nutrition for Longevity blog on all of the amazing health benefits of incorporating olive oil into your diet.
Vary Your Protein
A heart healthy diet emphasizes predominantly plant-based foods, especially protein. Plant-based sources of protein include legumes (beans and peas), nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Considering a pescatarian option is an easy way to add high-quality fish and source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Aim to eat fish 2-3 times per week to get the benefits of omega-3s and Vitamin B12! If you eat meat and poultry, choose lean sources, like in our flexitarian meal kits.
Reduce Salt Intake
Consuming more than the recommended amount of sodium associated with conditions such as stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, and hypertension. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 mg a day (1 tsp!) and moving toward an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults.
More than 70% of the sodium we consume comes from packaged, prepared and restaurant foods. Because most of the sodium is in your food before you buy it, it can be hard to limit. Pay attention to nutrition labels and look for low-sodium (meaning <140mg per serving), very low sodium, or no salt added on the package
At N4L, we follow The Longevity Diet and comply with the American Heart Association guidelines for all nutrients, including sodium. So when you look at a day’s worth of meals from us, you’ll always see a total sodium content of less than 2300mg.
Start your heart healthy journey with the Nutrition for Longevity meal kit of your choice, and see how easy it is to follow a heart healthy diet.