One of the less costly ways heart-related diseases can be reduced is through the selection of some classes of food. Fortunately, the foods being talked about are within the reach of all- the poor and the rich alike. Some of the foods that can be used in reducing, drastically, the risk of heart-related diseases are enumerated below.
Choose low-fat protein
Lean meat, poultry and fish low-fat dairy products, and egg whites are some of the best sources of protein. Be careful to choose lower fat options such as skim milk instead of whole milk.
Fish is another good alternative to high-fat meats. And certain types of fish are rich in mega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood fats called triglycerides. One will find the highest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in cold-water fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring. Other cheap but beneficial sources are walnuts, soya beans and canola oil.
Legumes-beans, peas and lentils are also good sources of protein and contain less fat and no cholesterol, making them good substitutes for animal protein. For instance, a soya or bean burger for a hamburger will reduce your fat and cholesterol intake.
Reduce the intake of sodium
Eating a lot of sodium (Na) can contribute to high blood pressure – a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Reducing sodium is an important part of a heart healthy diet, says the World Health Organisation (WHO). Although reducing the amount of salt you add to food at the table or while cooking is a good first step, much of salt you eat comes from canned or processed food, such as soups, so making your own stew and soups will reduce the amount of your salt intake.
If you like the convenience of canned soup or pepper and prepared meals, look for ones which have sodium reduced already.
Avoid food that claim to be lower in sodium because they are seasoned with sea salt and mixtures of some chemicals altogether instead of regular table salt – sea salt has the same nutritional value as regular salt. e.g. Mr Chef, Dangote salt etc.
Allow yourself an occasional treat every now and then. A candy bar of potato chips wont derail your heart – healthy diets, but don’t let it turn into an excuse for giving up healthy living.
Note that to be healthy and reduce chances of heart diseases, always eat:
- Fish e.g. mackerel, salmon etc.
- Egg – white or brown egg
- buy less of canned food, soup or pepper.
- Buy less of fatty acid food
- Eat more of protein like beans, milk, egg, vegetables and well cooked meat
- Reduce the intake of cholesterol
“therefore, a vegetarian diet like any health diet must be well planned in order to help prevent and treat certain diseases” the scientist counsel.
EYITAYO ILORI is a secondary school student in Ibadan, Nigeria. She aims to pursue a career along the medical line.