Cardiac Diet Plan – 5 Tips to Try
Did you just find out that you have high cholesterol? Not sure what LDL or HDL means? Did your doctor just tell you to stop eating salt and red meat? And you don’t know how that can happen because you love meat? And you don’t ever put salt in your food at the table!
If you have a need for heart healthy meal plan, you can use these five tips to get started in the right direction.
1. Write out a daily meal plan. Just knowing what you’re going to eat every day means that you’re on the right track. You will have thought out how much salt and fat is in the foods that you’re going to make. It’s best to plan your daily meals a week in advance, so that when you go the grocery store you purchase everything you need to have that heart healthy meal plan in place. Dedicating 1 to 2 hours one day a week to find recipes and make a plan will definitely improve your chances of success.
2. Limit your intake of high-fat foods. What are high-fat foods? Whole milk, regular cheeses, and fried foods. Many times you can take foods that you previously fried and with minimal modification you can bake them in the oven and still have a very tasty meal. If you still drink whole milk, over the period of 1 to 2 months move from whole milk to reduce fat milk to low-fat milk to skim milk every couple of weeks. Many times in the grocery store you can find skim milk that has added protein to improve the taste. Look for things like skim deluxe on the label to show it’s been altered to improve the taste.
3. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables and eat them. You can buy frozen vegetables as well but a lot of times fresh vegetables are very good in the raw state. Make sure not to over cook them and use minimal amounts of liquid to keep from losing too many vitamins and minerals. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of vitamins such as C and A. These are heart healthy nutrients that can help your health.
4. Eat less processed foods. What do I mean by processed foods? These are prepackaged foods that you can microwave at home or foods that you get out eat at restaurants or work. These foods typically are higher in fat and sodium. People choose them because they feel they are more convenient, but if you write out your meal plan you will find it easy and almost fun to make your meals when you have all the right pieces already at home.
5. Eat 30+ grams of fiber per day. Read your labels and under the carbohydrate section is a line called dietary fiber. When you’re choosing between two products choose the one with higher fiber. Fiber improves fullness as well as helping your digestive tract to produce immune factors and absorb excess fat and cholesterol. You may find that right now you only eat about 5 g of fiber per day, so work up to 30 slowly.
While these are common sense tips, it’s surprising how many people feel it’s overwhelming to improve their overall diet. You don’t have to wait for heart attack to start eating better.
What tips are you going to implement to improve your diet?