Whether you’re 20, 40 or 60 years old, heart health should always be top of mind, even when making every day decisions like choosing your next meal. A healthy diet is a cornerstone to optimal heart health. Registered dietician, In Jung Lifrieri, is a member of Westmed’s Healthy Measures Weight Management Program, and she has some rule-of-thumb guidelines to share for the next time you are considering food choices:
- Add color to your plate: Vegetables and fruits not only add pretty color to your plate, they also provide antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients which can protect your heart from damage caused by free radicals and processed foods.
- Load up on the fiber (insoluble and soluble): An adequate intake of daily fiber can protect your heart and arteries by preventing plaque build-up and lowering bad cholesterol. Aim for a healthy mix of both insoluble and soluble fiber to support bowel regularity and keep you satisfied at each meal.
- Focus on the good fats: Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to eliminate fats to maintain heart health. Fats are an essential part of your diet and they support many different functions. The key is to focus on the good kind of fats that can improve blood cholesterol levels and insulin levels, like monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and omega-3 fatty acids. These fats, when consumed in moderation, are known to decrease risk of heart disease. Most of your dietary fats should come from fatty fish, olive or avocado oil, unsalted nuts or seeds (1 oz serving), nut butters, and avocados.
It’s never too early or too late to change your eating habits to support your heart and overall health. If you’re interested in lowering your cholesterol, losing weight or implementing a new and healthier way of eating, you can make an appointment with In Jung Lifrieri by calling 814-831-4100 or visit www.westmedgroup.com/healthymeasures to learn more.