Heart Health and Food Choices Go Hand in Hand
Most of us know that the foods we put into our bodies have an impact on our health. In particular, your diet can affect weight, cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure, all of which are part of Life’s Essential 8 as defined by the American Heart Association.
Reducing fatty meats is a great start, says Dr. Tasneem Yakoob Paliwala, an Internal Medicine doctor at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic – Cypress. She suggests replacing them with foods that help lower LDL cholesterol such as:
- Fish or skinless poultry
- Oats, barley, and other whole grains
- Beans, nuts, and soy
- Fruits such as apples, grapes, strawberries, and oranges
- Vegetables such as eggplant, yams, spinach, bell peppers, broccoli, and okra
There are also other simple things you can do to make eating healthy a new habit. A good rule of thumb, according to the American Heart Association, is to only eat foods that give you energy and avoid those that weigh you down.
Kelsey-Seybold dietitians recommend:
- Limiting sugary drinks and sweets
- Replacing highly processed foods with homemade or less-processed options
- Enjoying a variety of nutritious foods from all the food groups, especially fruits and veggies
- Keeping healthy habits even when you eat away from home
“Your primary care physician and dietitians can help you make simple changes that can have a big impact in the long term,” adds Dr. Yakoob.