Tip #1: Fiber up
Aim for daily fiber intake at least 25 grams per day (21-25 grams for females; 25-38 grams for Males) with particular emphasis on soluble fiber (7-13 grams/day) from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, high fiber cereals like oatmeal and legumes. Soluble fibers reduce cholesterol by binding cholesterol in the digestive system and moving them out of the body.
Tip #2: Limit saturated fat to less than 7%
Eating too much-saturated fat can raise the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood. High LDL cholesterol levels in the blood can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Saturated foods are solid at room temperature and occur naturally in many foods but mostly from animal sources like meat and dairy products. Limit your saturated fat intake to less than 7% of total calories for heart health.
Tip #3: Limit fat calories to 25% of total calories
A moderate-fat diet is essential for maintaining a healthy weight, preventing heart disease, and providing adequate nutrients from all food groups. The Institute of Medicine recommends a total fat intake of 25-35% of calories. Fat has more than twice as many calories as carbohydrates and protein. Limiting your fat calories will allow you to eat more healthy carbohydrates and protein to get essential nutrients from these food groups.
Tip #4: Limit Cholesterol to less than 200 mg per day
Cholesterol is an essential nutrient for the body. Still, too much cholesterol in your blood can build up in the walls of your arteries, causing atherosclerosis narrowing the arteries, and affecting the blood flow to the heart. If blood supply is completely blocking the heart, a heart attack can happen. Cholesterol mainly enters your body from animal-based foods like meat, eggs, and dairy, so go low fat on animal-based foods.
Tip #5: Include foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are used to treat hyperlipidemia and hypertension. The American Heart Association recommends the consumption of two servings of fish per week for a person with no history of coronary heart disease and at least one serving of fish daily for those with known coronary heart disease. Other vegetarian dietary sources of Omega 3 are flax seeds, walnuts, vegetables like Brussel sprouts.
Tip #6: Consume 2-3 servings per day (2-3 g) of plant stanols and sterols
Plant sterols and stanols are natural compounds found in certain plant-based foods that can help lower total cholesterol levels. You can get these compounds in your diet easily by eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and vegetable oil. You can also look for fortified sterols and stanols products like margarine, orange juice, and bread.
Tip #7: Stay active
Physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes or more as tolerated can go a long way to protect your heart and improve overall health and wellness. Regular physical activity is known to reduce systolic blood pressure and improve heart health.
Disclaimer: Please note that this page is not medical advice. This can only be used as general guidance to a healthy and balanced diet for your health and wellness. This food does not ensure an adequate or inadequate and safe intake level for a single person. Please consult your health care provider and check out our Medical Nutrition Therapy services for the diet plan that is right for you!