Be healthy with a cardiac diet

November 12, 2012

Be healthy with a cardiac diet

A cardiac diet is often suggested for patients suffering from heart problems. It is also a great, healthy diet and an effective way of preventing serious diseases such as high blood pressure and heart attacks.

You may have guessed it from the name, cardiac diets aim to improve and prevent problems linked to the heart. It is often prescribed for patients with a family or personal history of heart related health conditions. Following a diet plan such as this can reduce the risk of diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure, heart attacks and many more. In addition to this, anyone without a history of heart problems can help to prevent them from occurring in the future by sticking to a cardiac diet.

Consume healthy fats

It is important to understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy fats and where they both are found. Two types of fat that should be included in everyone’s diet as they contain health-benefiting properties are called polyunsaturated fats and monosaturated fats. Some examples of foods containing polyunsaturated fats include fish, seeds, nuts and leafy green vegetables. Monounsaturated fats are found in foods such as avocado, nuts, olives and milk products.

Avoid unhealthy fats

Fats that have a negative effect on ones health are called trans fats and saturated fats. Trans fat can dramatically increase the body’s bad cholesterol levels and are most commonly found in packaged food item that are fried and often in food sold in fast food restaurants. Saturated fats are often used by manufacturers to increase the shelf life of a product but once again can be very harmful to the body. Saturated fats are found in products such as coconut oil, ghee, butter, cream and cheese.

C

onsume fibre rich foods

Foods that are rich in fibre play an important role in reducing the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and increasing the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Additionally they aid digestion and help to prevent constipation. Fibre rich foods include whole grains, prunes, nuts and seeds, legumes and fresh fruit and vegetables.

Keep in mind

There are a number of other factors that should be taken into consideration when it comes to starting a cardiac diet such as:

  • Sodium intake should be reduced

  • Consume lots of fruit and vegetables

  • As long as you’re not vegetarian, include fish in your diet

  • Eat less foods that are high in animal fats

  • Try to eliminate caffeine products from your diet

  • Avoid all foods that contain trans fat

  • Add food to your diet that contains plant stanols

There are also some lifestyle changes that should be made at the same time as sticking to a cardiac diet including:

  • Regular exercise

  • Reduce the amount of salt you consume

  • Reduce portion sizes to help maintain a healthy weight

  • Reduce stress levels

  • Switch to whole grain bread rather than white and start cooking with olive oil rather than refined oil

  • Read food labels so you know exactly what you are putting into your body

  • Consult a medical expert for more advice on changes you can make to improve the health of your heart as well as starting a cardiac diet

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