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Healthy Heart

Healthy Heart
With changing lifestyle and eating habits, the risk of heart diseases is only growing. It is only wise that one learn a few handy food facts. Increase the intake of certain foods while cutting down on some.
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Source:  Adam Sandler
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  • A diet high in whole grain foods is associated with a significantly lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke. Examples of whole-grain foods include wild rice, popcorn, oatmeal, brown rice, barley and flours such as whole wheat. Make sure to look for 100 percent whole grain on food labels or look for specific types of whole-grain flour, such as whole wheat, listed as the first ingredient.

  • People who significantly cut back on the amount of salt in their diet too could reduce their chances of developing cardiovascular disease by 25 percent.

  • By using garlic instead of salt, you not only get the benefit of lower blood pressure, you also get the health perks of garlic, such as fighting cancer and possibly reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke by lowering total and LDL (bad) cholesterol without affecting HDL (good) cholesterol.

  • Use non-fat milk instead of whole milk has almost 5 grams of saturated fat, whereas skim/non-fat milk has only 0.125 grams, not to mention the calorie savings (146 calories per cup for whole milk vs.83 calories for skim milk).

  • Cook vegetables in vegetable microwave bags instead of using oil and a regular pan. All you have to do is put your washed vegetables into the bag, seal it, toss it in the microwave and minutes later you have crisp-yet-tender steamed vegetables without adding water or oil. You can make real meals, too.

  • One of the biggest excuses for not cooking heart-healthy meals is the time it takes. Well, now you can whip up a heart-healthy meal in almost no time while reaping all the benefits of eating fresh vegetables and lean meat or poultry with little or no oil. Keep in mind, vegetables are high in fiber, a diet rich in fiber can help lower blood cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease.

  • Use margarine spray instead of butter. If you’re looking to save calories and saturated fat, use margarine spray (10 calories per 10 sprays). Butter has 100 calories per tablespoon and contains more than 7 grams of saturated fat.

  • Snack on pistachios instead of potato chips. A four-weed pistachio diet containing moderate amounts of heart healthy fat decreases risk factors for heart disease with no weight gain. According to a research, a daily diet consisting of 15 percent of calories from pistachios (one to two handfuls) improved some blood lipid levels in people with moderately high cholesterol levels.

  • Another study compared two groups of people, one following a cholesterol-lowering diet and another that added pistachios to the same diet. The researchers concluded that eating either 50 to 100 gm of pistachios daily reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease by significantly reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. In addition, the higher daily dose reduced lipoprotein ratios.

  • While pistachios are packed with fiber, vitamins and potassium, 15 grams of pistachios (24 nuts) have approximately 85 calories, which means that 30-45 gm would add up to 340 to 510 calories. So, eat them sparingly or use them to replace high-calorie, high-fat foods (like chips).

  • Important Note: The articles presented are provided by third party authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of They should not be construed as medical advice or diagnosis. Consult with your physician prior to following any suggestions provided.

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