Heart health is something we’ve all heard of before, but many of us fail to implement heart healthy skills into our daily lives. February is American Heart Month and there’s no better time to start making healthy changes! Improving your diet and nutrition is the best way to keep your heart healthy. Use these simple tips to start living your healthier life today!
Monitor Portion Sizes
Americans notoriously struggle with our portion sizes. Not only do large portions lead to higher obesity rates, but they lead to poor heart health too. The best way to monitor your portions is by becoming familiar with serving sizes and then keeping track of what you eat for comparison. You might be shocked to learn that you’re actually eating double or triple the recommended serving size at meal and snack times! Try to cut back to just one serving size, paired with plenty of water, and you’ll be surprised how satisfied you feel.
Enjoy Whole Foods
Processed foods aren’t good for us. We all know it, yet they’re the easy option to grab something when you’re hungry. It’s time to revolutionize that way of thinking by incorporating whole foods into your diet. Whole foods include fresh fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed grains. Whole foods will fill you up and allow you to stay full for longer than processed foods. If you know you reach for processed foods for convenience, try preparing fresh foods ahead of time so they’re ready to grab and eat when you need them!
Limit Saturated Fat
Saturated fat is one of the worst things for heart health. Saturated fat is found primarily in processed foods. Read food labels to see how much fat is in it, and how much of that is saturated fat. You should have no more than 11 to 13 grams of saturated fats per day.
Making all of these changes too quickly will set yourself up for failure. Instead, make changes gradually and realistically. It’s easier for some people to have healthy eating habits if they know they can still have a treat once in a while. That means still allowing yourself to go out to eat every once in a while, or have a small dessert at home. The key with treating yourself is to still keep those portion sizes in mind!
If you need to evaluate your current heart health or if you have questions about how to improve it even more, contact a nearby healthcare provider today!