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Heart-Healthy Foods: What to Eat and What to Avoid

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. At Brookhaven Heart, we believe that maintaining heart health is crucial, and one of the most important ways to achieve this is through nutrition. In this article, we’ll discuss heart-healthy foods to eat and foods to avoid, as well as tips for making informed choices about what you eat.

Heart-Healthy Foods

At Brookhaven Heart, we recommend eating a variety of heart-healthy foods to help reduce your risk of heart disease. Here are some foods to include in your diet:

Fruits and vegetables

These are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Aim for at least five servings per day, and choose a variety of colors to ensure you get a range of nutrients.

Whole Grains

These include whole wheat, oats, quinoa, and brown rice. They’re a good source of fiber, which can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Lean Proteins

These include fish, poultry, and beans. Fish is particularly beneficial, as it’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce inflammation and improve heart health.

Healthy Fats

These include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can help lower cholesterol levels. Good sources of healthy fats include nuts, seeds, and avocados.

Foods to Avoid

At Brookhaven Heart, we know that some foods can increase your risk of heart disease. Here are some foods to limit or avoid:

Processed and Fried Foods

These are often high in unhealthy fats, salt, and sugar. They can contribute to weight gain, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels.

Sugary Drinks and Desserts

These are high in calories and can contribute to weight gain and high blood sugar levels.

Excessive Salt and Added Sugars

Consuming too much salt and added sugars can lead to high blood pressure and other health problems.

Saturated and Trans Fats

Saturated and trans fat can raise cholesterol levels and can put you at risk of heart disease. They’re often found in foods such as fatty meats, butter, and baked goods.

Reading Labels and Making Informed Choices

At Brookhaven Heart, we understand that reading food labels can help you make informed choices about what you eat. Look for foods that are low in saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and salt. Choose foods that are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Be aware of portion sizes, and aim to eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of heart-healthy foods.

When eating out, look for menu options that are grilled, baked, or steamed, rather than fried. Ask for sauces and dressings on the side, and choose options that are lower in salt and added sugars. Remember that it’s okay to indulge in your favorite foods occasionally, but try to make heart-healthy choices most of the time.

Call Brookhaven Heart to Keep Your Heart Healthy

Maintaining a heart-healthy diet is an important step in reducing your risk of heart disease. At Brookhaven Heart, we believe that by eating a variety of heart-healthy foods and limiting foods that are detrimental to heart health, you can improve your overall health and well-being. Remember to read food labels, make informed choices, and enjoy your favorite heart-healthy foods in moderation. By making small changes to your diet, you can improve your heart health and reduce your risk of heart disease. Give us a call today or fill out our online form to get your heart back on track at Brookhaven Heart!

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