After decades of research, American and European cardiologists concluded that the main enemies of the heart are bad eating habits. This time we will talk about healthy heart diet.
What does it mean?
The most important condition for maintaining a healthy heart until old age – is to exclude foods high in “bad” cholesterol from the daily meals. This substance stimulates the deposition of fat clots in the walls of blood vessels and impedes the flow of blood. The load on the heart and blood vessels is increased. Sooner or later, due to poor circulation, necrosis of cardiac tissue (myocardial infarction) or cerebral hemorrhage (stroke) can occur.
By the way, the blacklist of food rich in “bad” cholesterol, includes not only margarine and mayonnaise, but also, for example, shrimps.
Do not be afraid of dark chocolate – it contains flavonoids, that increase the level of “good” cholesterol in the blood. It purifies the vessel walls from fat clots. Furthermore, for your healthy heart, it is important to monitor the level of sodium and amino acid homocysteine in the blood and timely replenish “heart” vitamins and minerals – potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, E, B12, B3, B9, and omega-3 fatty acids.
How does the diet work?
- The excess amount of homocysteine in the body provokes atherosclerosis. To normalize it you need vitamin B12 and B9;
- Sodium retains water in the body – it causes high blood pressure and the increased load on the heart and blood vessels. Therefore, its consumption should be reduced to 1000-1500 mg per day (see the Table);
- Potassium and magnesium provide a normal heart rate, and the lack of them can lead to high blood pressure. If you are taking these minerals in pills, keep in mind that oversupply is also dangerous;
- Vitamins C and E inhibit the deposition of cholesterol in the walls of blood vessels and normalize blood pressure. Vitamin C also strengthens the capillaries, and E reduces the density of cholesterol plaques;
- Vitamin B3 stimulates the production of “good” cholesterol. Foods rich in vitamin 3 include: dairy products, fish, nuts, and eggs;
- Omega-3 fatty acids are a tonic for the heart. Only with their involvement cardiac muscle cells can function properly.
How to stick to the diet?
- Replace butter and jams with thick fruit puree, mayonnaise – with natural yoghurt, pepper and herbs. Consume vegetable oil no more than 5-7 tsp. per day;
- Eat more fresh greens and use it at every opportunity in pizza, soups, stews, pasta, sandwiches;
- Study labels: if they contains “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated fats”, look for a healthier option. Inscriptions “no salt”, “low in salt / sodium” – are a good sign.
- Eat baked or boiled fish two or three times a week, combining it with vegetable salad;
- Add a couple of tablespoons of berries, walnuts, ground flax seed or bran to the morning porridge or yogurt. Bake on healthy flour. Experiment with new whole grain cereals. Taste bulgur, barley, green buckwheat, red and black rice;
- Keep in the refrigerator slices of fruit and vegetables (bell peppers, carrots, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, apples), snack or add them to soups and sauces. For example, broccoli can be ground to a hot tomato sauce for spaghetti, carrots – to beef stew.
What should be abandoned?
- Liver, kidneys, skin (they contain maximum cholesterol), fatty pork, sausages, salami, duck;
- Shrimps, fish roe;
- Mayonnaise, margarine, cream cheese, whole milk and condensed milk, cream, sour cream;
- Fried dishes, fatty cakes (cookies, eclairs, donuts, tiramisu, biscuits);
- Instant soups, sauces, canned food, salted nuts, soy sauce, salt;
- Strong coffee, alcohol and cigarettes.
What to focus on?
- Chicken, turkey, veal, rabbit;
- Low-fat cheese (less than 12% fat), cottage cheese, egg whites, low-fat yogurt and kefir;
- White fish (cod, peak, flounder), fatty fish (herring, mackerel, sardines, tuna, salmon);
- Fresh seasonal or frozen vegetables, berries and fruits, oatmeal, coarse-grained cereals (barley, buckwheat, green, red and black rice, bulgur), beans, boiled potatoes;
- Unleavened bread, crackers, oatmeal cookies, nuts, jelly;
- Milk and dairy products, spices and herbs, mustard, vinegar.
How many times a day to eat?
Eat three to five times a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner – always; lunch and afternoon snack – optional. The scientists concluded, that consuming food in small portions each three hours of activity is far better, than eating a lot once or twice a day.
Duration and the result
You should always adhere to the heart healthy diet. It helps to improve blood circulation and keep the heart and blood vessels as healthy as possible for many years.
Menu for a week
|Brunch||Salad of dark leafy greens with canned tuna, slices of apple and pumpkin seeds|
Salmon fillet on the grill
(before baking , marinate in a mixture of lemon juice, spices and minced garlic for 15 minutes) mashed potatoes with herbs
|Snack||1 sliced banana and 2-3 kiwi with low-fat whipped cream|
|Dinner||2 bell peppers stuffed with pearl barley, walnuts and greens|
|Breakfast||Fruit salad with a handful of almonds and natural yoghurt|
|Brunch||Unleavened bread sandwich with avocado, a ball of mozzarella, tomato and spinach|
|Lunch||Thick potato soup with feta cheese|
|Snack||1 sliced banana and 2-3 kiwi with low-fat whipped cream|
|Dinner||Durum wheat pasta with vegetables and herbs|
|Breakfast||Oatmeal with berries, walnuts and milled flax seeds|
|Lunch||The soup of fennel and spinach with chicken broth|
Vegetable stew with meat
|Snack||Carrot and orange truffles|
|Breakfast||Buckwheat pancakes with honey and blueberries|
|Brunch||2 oatmeal cookies|
|Lunch||Soup with mackerel and dill|
Eggplant caviar with sliced celery
|Snack||Sorbet of mango, banana and black currant|
Pellets of wheatgrass
|Breakfast||Cottage cheese and berry gratin|
|Brunch||Half of pita stuffed with feta cheese, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes and herbs|
|Lunch||Bean soup with greens|
|Dinner||Warm salad of bulgur, pepper and arugula|
|Breakfast||Omelet with red onion, leek, tomatoes and spinach|
|Brunch||Banana ice cream|
Quick meat pie
|Snack||Carrot and cottage cheese soufflé|
|Dinner||Baked stuffed potatoes|
Fried green onion
|Breakfast||Oatmeal with walnuts, berries and milled flax seeds|
|Brunch||Natural yogurt with raisins|
|Lunch||Cabbage soup, Boiled green beans with chopped almonds|
|Snack||Sandwich with hummus, tomato and greens|
|Dinner||Flounder garnished with rice and roasted vegetables|
The daily rate of products for a healthy heart
|Name||Rate||Where to dind|
|Vitamin С||70-75 mg(F), 90 mg (M)||Bell pepper (209 mg / 1 pc.), kiwi (74 mg / 1 pc.), orange (70 mg / 1 pc.), strawberry (60 mg / 100 g)|
|В12||2-4 mkg (f), 4-6 mkg (M)||Beef(2 mkg / 100 g), cottage cheese, hard cheeses, (1 mkg / 100g), kefir and eggs (0,5 mkg / 100 g)|
|В9||400 mg||Leafy greens and herbs (200 mkg / 100 g), spinach, walnuts(150 mkg / 100 g), beans, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts (80-10 mkg / 100 g), eggs, strawberry, almond (60-80 mkg / 100 g)|
|Vitamin Е||8-10 mg (F), 10-12 mg (M)||Wheat germ (21 mg / 100 g), almonds and sunflower seeds (7 mg / 100 g), sunflower oil (5 mg / 100 мл), spinach, avocado and olive oil(2 mg / 100 g)|
|Omega 3||1000 mg||Mackerel (1400 mg / 100 g), sardines(1000 mg / 100 g), salmon(800 mg /100 g)|
|Potassium||4700 mg||Avocado(970 mg / 100 g), potatoes(850 mg / 100 g), dried apricots (407 mg / 100 g),raisins (1099 mg / 100 g)|
|Magnesium||280-300 mg (F), 270-400 mg (M)||Pearl barley (158 mg / 100 g), buckwheat flour(301 mg / 100 g), oat-flakes (221 mg / 100 g), almond(156 mg / 50 g), pumpkin seeds (151 mg / 30 g), spinach(157 mg / 100 g)|
|Sodium||1000-1500 mg||Meat and fish (70-85 mg / 100 g), eggs (65 mg / 1 pc.), cheese (250-500 mg / 100 g), bread(650 mg / 100 g), salt (2400 mg / 1 tsp), soy sauce(1300 mg / 1 tbsp.)|