Heart Healthy Foods List
I think we all agree that having a healthy heart is important , and if this is true then having a heart healthy foods list should be just as important.
Being overweight carries many health risks one of them being the strain on our ticker, I appreciate not everyone is into exercise and HIIT workouts.
If your overweight than my first guess besides a medical problem would be, that you’re probably more into food than exercise.
If this is the case this post is going to be of value to you as were going to look at your heart and how to produce a heart healthy foods list to keep your ticker ticking.
The heart is an organ made from muscle that has 4 chambers responsible for pumping blood around your body, the more efficient and healthy the less it beats, yes it’s good for it to beat less not good for it to STOP beating.
The more body mass you have the harder it has to work as it has to pump blood to all the extra fat, also being overweight may bring about higher amounts of cholesterol creating further strain!
The heart doesn’t rest for obvious reasons but a good induction of how efficient your heart is performing is testing your resting heart rate.
Best time to perform this test is when you’re asleep with proper medical equipment, I guess you don’t have said equipment laying around that’s ok neither do I.
A fairly accurate way would be to place two fingers on your pulse in your neck as soon as you wake up, count for a minute and record that number.
20-60 = healthy efficient heart
60-80= average beating heart
100+ = working hard visit the doctor to rule out medical problem
This is a good rule of thumb, however, it is just a guide, there are other ruling factors such as age, medical problems and even certain climates can make the results vary to name a few.
Next step lets work out your maximum heart rate another good test is to take your age and deduct from the number 220 and that will give you your maximum heart rate this also can be affected by various elements but still fairly good for this exercise.
Now you know your resting and maximum rate you can work out how hard your heart is working, for instance, my maximum heart rate is 187 and my resting is 52, as you can see not the best out there but its efficient.
If for example your maximum heart rate was 187 and your resting was 110 than not so efficient and it cant sustain that tempo leading to trouble.
Now we have a brief breakdown of the heart we can look at producing a heart healthy foods list to help lose weight and bring the resting heart rate down to a more practical rate.
What should be avoided on the heart healthy foods list
In recent years, the food industry has been made to display by the UK Government easy to read daily amount guide of what’s in that particular product of food and some stores have colour coded as well,
Basically, by law they must display by law all ingredients and any allergy advice and commonly you will find on the front of the packet, calories, fats, sugars and the salt amount and how much it is in relation to your daily amount.
This makes it easy to add foods to your heart healthy foods list as calories, fats, sugars, and salt are all bad for your heart in large quantities.
Calories – Too many and you put on weight, bad for your heart adds more strain to blood circulation.
Fats – Especially saturated, bad for your heart, increases the amount of cholesterol in the blood that can lead to heart disease and stroke.
Sugars – Tastes great but bad for the heart very calorific, leads to weight gain.
Salt – Is necessary for the body but too much, yes you guessed it bad for the heart, raises blood pressure and can cause all sorts of problems including heart attack.
Check labels as different manufacturers use different amounts for same products.
Foods that should be added to your heart healthy foods list
Anybody who knows me, knows that I am not a big fan of supplements, however, there is a place for them such as garlic capsules and fish oil as we don’t want to be healthy but smelly, do we?
Fish – All fish have great health properties, The salmon is king for the heart, usually more expensive than other fish but tastes good and is omega-3 rich, research has shown omega-3 has an anti-clotting effect promoting great blood flow. other options of fish rich in omega-3 are trout, sardines, tuna and mackerel.
Nuts – Extremely healthy in small quantities, want to cut heart disease by half? 5 ounces a week can help with this as nuts promote good cholesterol and eliminate bad cholesterol, top of the list goes to walnuts in the nut world, goes without say buy your nuts unsalted!
Fruits & Veg – The American Heart Association advises to eat different varieties of fruit 5 times a day at least as this will help your heart due to being low in calories and high in vitamins minerals and fibre, this contributes to weight management and lower blood pressure.
Avocado is a top food that should be on your heart healthy foods list due to its ability to lower cholesterol, I will be honest, personally don’t like the taste.
Dark Chocolate – This one will be music to some ears and others will think damn! why couldn’t it be milk chocolate? reason this type of chocolate is good it contains flavanols, these also help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Olive Oil -One of the best oils out there compared to the rest just don’t over heat it,try drizzling olive oil on salad as will help you make the most of the nutrients.
Looking after your heart isn’t negotiable and not hard a few adjustments to your diet can work miracles, can you see how a heart healthy foods list will benefit you?
And whilst we’re talking about lists why not buy one? this is the one I use just click here to see, I take it to the supermarket and then stick it to the fridge.
All the tools are there for us to succeed, we have labels on packets, the wealth of information on the web the only thing that is lacking is education but it is slowly getting better but still much to do as heart disease is still one of the biggest killers worldwide.
On your next food shop use a planner to pre-plan what you’re going to buy and make a few swaps, include more fruit and veg and if not already swap your cooking oil to olive oil.
I would love to know what you put in your basket when you go food shopping and if you have any questions just leave a comment at the bottom.