Heart disease can be caused by a variety of conditions such as genetics or a physical calamity, but an increasing number of cases are being caused by poor nutrition. Whether you are taking precautions to avoid any heart disease in your loved one’s life, or are just now changing the nutrition habits of your loved one after a heart condition, there are important decisions that can make a significant difference.
There are three issues that must be faced early on when choosing a diet that has the heart-conscious in mind. They are: Keeping as ideal a weight as possible, decreasing saturated fat intake, and reducing sodium levels. Realizing some sacrifices will have to be made is the first step to improving nutrition, all while meeting the expected goals of improved heart function and increased vitality as a result.
Here are some other dietary approaches that may help you in caring for a loved one.
Avoid processed foods that have high amounts of sodium
Foods such as peanut butter, salad dressings, and frozen dinners are high in sodium and therefore should not be used in preparing meals
All alcohol consumption should be minimal
Less than 30% of total calories should come from fat
Cheese, nuts, and lunch meats should be kept in moderation
Potassium supplements should be implemented into the diet
An increase in fiber with in the diet can reduce fat levels
Whole grain cereals, bran, and wheat breads all have high amounts of soluble fiber
throughout the day work best, instead of only three main
Cholesterol intake should be minimal, as foods such as cheese and eggs have outrageously high amounts
Fruits and vegetables should be instrumental in the daily diet, and while it is stated that the average American should have 5 servings daily, for those with a heart condition, it is advised that it be increased to 6-8 servings
Cigarettes can cause poor blood pressure and should be avoided
Colas, coffees, and teas should be minimized to avoid the caffeine and its adverse stimulants placed on the body
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Gary Barg is the Editor-in-Chief of Today's Caregiver Magazine, caregiver.com and the Caregiver Newsletter. You can received his newsletter for free by going to caregiver.com and signing up.