BASIC PRINCIPLES AND HABITS TO DEVELOP:
1. Breakfast is important, and missing this meal slows metabolism.
2. Avoid unhealthy snacks.
3. Foods high in protein, vegetables and fiber should be the backbone for this diet.
4. Avoid late evening meals.
5. It is better to eat four to five smaller nutritious meals during the day.
6. Drink plenty of water. Studies show that drinking a glass of water before a meal tends to decrease the numbers of calories you consume.
7. If family members don’t want to participate, then prepare your meals separately or choose only the healthy items.
HEART HEALTHY NUTRITION
A heart healthy diet is made up of an overall healthy eating pattern.
A healthy eating pattern emphasizes:
• A variety of fruits and vegetables
• Whole grains
• Lean protein sources such as skinless poultry or fish
• Nuts and legumes
• Healthy fats such as avocado or olive oil
• Limiting sugar, sweets, and sugary beverages
• If you drink, alcohol should be consumed in moderation – no more than one serving per day for women and two servings per day for men
Sodium is necessary to keep the body functioning properly; however, too much sodium can be harmful to those with high blood pressure.
• If the doctor recommends a sodium restriction, it is usually limited
to 2000mg of sodium per day (1 tsp of sodium contains 2300mg)
Refined carbohydrates may also affect heart health. These are foods with high amounts of simple sugars. Examples include sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages. The American Heart Association recommends to limit added sugars to no more than 6 tsp for women and 9 tsp for men per day. Sugar-sweetened beverages are the biggest source of added sugar in the American diet. Added sugars are also found in baked items, ice cream, and candy.