Food for Thought….And Circulation

Controlling your diet is one of the easiest things that you can do that directly affects your health. From your waistline to your heart, what you put in your body can turn you into a physical specimen worthy of stud–or one who really requires have a good life insurance policy. It might sound harsh, but ignoring the role that diet plays in health can literally kill you.005485-iStock_000005623222XSmall

Fill Your Shopping Cart with Healthy Choices

  • Fruits and vegetables- We suggest the fresh variety, but frozen will suffice. Avoiding canned fruits and veggies means you aren’t taking in unnecessary salt, sugar and preservatives. Eat 4.5 cups of produce a day for heart health.
  • Whole grains- Bread, rice, pasta and the rest of your favorite carbs are available in whole grain varieties. Avoid processes flour and add in some fiber by selecting whole-wheat versions of any of these foods. Eat three single-ounce servings of whole grains per day to keep your heart happy.
  • Lean meats and oily fish- We all want protein on our plates, but that doesn’t mean rib eye every night. Go for poultry (white meat especially) and oily fish (like salmon) to satisfy your inner carnivore. Limit processed meats to a maximum of two servings per week if you do eat them.
  • Herbs- You can flavor your food and be healthy. It is easy to avoid the less healthy seasonings if your spice rack has lots of options: basil, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, cilantro, tarragon, oregano and parsley are all flavorful choices.

Some Things Should Stay on the Shelf

  • Salt- You do need salt in your diet, but you don’t need as much as you probably eat. Stick to 1,500 mgs or less per day. Remember that canned and processed foods, as well as most of your favorite condiments, are filled with sodium, so realistically you usually don’t need to add salt at the table.
  • Sugar- Sugar comes in cakes, pastries, and beverages. It also exists naturally in fruits and veggies. Go for the natural variety and avoid the processed (white sugar) offerings. You do not need sweets every day; instead try substituting your favorite fruit for your normal desert.

Face it, the biggest reason that we tend to eat unhealthy foods is that we are used to them. We grew up eating processed and fatty foods and spent a lot of time ignoring health precautions. That time is over, and the future needs to focus more on good sources of food. Once you begin to make the switch, you will start to see how easy it is to eat better. It won’t be too long until you are craving healthier food instead of your usual snacks. Making the switch will also help you avoid feeling these symptoms:

  • Chest pain that lasts more than a few minutes or comes and goes. It might feel like pressure or an unusual fullness in your chest.
  • Body pain in your arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach that sets in unexpectedly.
  • Shortness of breath that will likely show up with other feelings on this list.
  • Nausea and cold sweats that arise even when you don’t have the flu.

You want to use a healthy diet to help you avoid those feelings. Not just because they make you uncomfortable, but also because those are the signs that you might be having a heart attack as a result of an unhealthy cardiovascular system. Heart attacks do not always come on dramatically like they do in movies. Often you can feel the signs yourself. If you are experiencing these symptoms, seek immediate emergency medical attention.

If you would like more information about how to improve your heart health, visit Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point online or call 1-888-741-5119 to speak with a registered nurse who can answer basic medical questions and help you find a doctor near you.

Sources:

American Heart Association

National Institute of Health

Women’s Health

Related Posts:

February is American Heart Month

Benefits of Care for Cardio Patients

Stroke and Your Heart

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