Eat your heart healthy!

Eat your heart healthy!

Can you believe, a third of the world’s deaths are due to heart disease!

And do you know what?

We can actually do something about it!

Your diet plays a big role in your heart health and it can help to prevent heart disease. Foods can have an effect on your blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides and inflammation in your body which are risk factors for heart disease.

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in your blood and every cell of your body. You need some cholesterol to keep your cells and organs healthy. Your liver makes all the cholesterol your body needs, but we can also eat cholesterol.

Have you tested your cholesterol before?

Did you know there is more than one reading on your results?

The results show your:

  • Total-Cholesterol = the total amount of “good” and “bad” cholesterol
  • HDL (high-density lipoprotein) = “good cholesterol”, HDL get rid of the LDL.
  • LDL (low-density lipoprotein) = “bad cholesterol”, these clog your arteries.
  • Triglycerides = type of fat in blood from food or alcohol.

So, even if your Total Cholesterol levels are fine it does not mean your heart is healthy!

A lot of the time I see patients who have low HDL levels, meaning they need more healthy fats in their diet.

So…what can you eat to keep your heart healthy?

1. Fibre!

  • Wholegrains like oats, whole wheat bread, durum wheat pasta and basically anything which still contain the wheat germ.

-they have been shown to decrease LDL levels.

Green vegetables

-they have nitrates which decrease blood pressure and help to keep your arteries flexible.

Berries

-which is high in antioxidants like anthocyanins, which protect against the oxidative stress and inflammation.

Tomatoes/red peppers

-they contain lycopene’s which is an antioxidant.

Beans (edamame, lentils, kidney or black beans)

-they contain flavonoids that may help lower cholesterol levels.

2. Good fats!

You need fat, but the good ones (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) like:

  • Oils (avocado, canola, olive, sunflower)
  • Fatty fish (salmon, sardine, tuna)
  • Nuts (walnuts, almonds) and seeds (flaxseeds, sunflower seeds)

-they contain fibre and omega-3 fatty acids

  • Stay away from saturated fats (pies, cakes, processed products, animal fats)

3. Dark Chocolate! (70% of cacao)

– they contain antioxidants like flavonoids. Make your own chocolate with raw cacao from Hamba Healths store.

4. Red wine!

-they contain resveratrol and catechins, two antioxidants.

Just remember to keep to a serving of 125-150ml.

5. Green tea!

– they contain catechins and flavanols, which can help maintain the health of your blood vessels and may keep blood clots from forming.

The Bottom Line

What you put in your mouth has an effect or your heart health!

So, take these tips to HEART!

Pun intended…

References

  1. heart.org. 2018. Cholesterol. [online] Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol.
  2. Klug F et al. South African dyslipidaemia guideline consensus statement: 2018 update. 2018. SAMJ. Vol. 108, No. 11 (Part 2), 975-1000.

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