Healthy foods for Heart Patient / Complicated Recipes

5 Foods Good for Heart Health

Healthy foods for Heart Patient

The foods you eat directly impact your cardiovascular health. Improving your diet can help you manage current health conditions, such as high cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar, and can also help prevent future health problems.

What is a heart-healthy diet?

A heart-healthy diet is:

  • High in omega-3 fats, found in many fishes, especially salmon
  • High in fruits and in green, red and orange vegetables
  • Low in saturated fats and trans fats
  • Low in sugar
  • Low in alcohol or alcohol-free
  • Calorie-balanced to support a healthy weight

What's the difference between healthy fat and unhealthy fat?

Saturated and trans fats can be especially harmful to your heart and arteries. A heart-healthy diet is low in these harmful fats but includes moderate amounts of healthy fats. Mono- and polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fats, are good for your heart.

When it comes to your weight, all fats are equally high in calories. When it comes to your heart, some fats are bad and some are good.

Why are saturated fats so bad for me?

Saturated fats are unhealthy primarily because they raise blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the so-called "bad" cholesterol. No more than 7 percent of your calories each day should come from saturated fats. For a person eating 2, 000 calories per day, that's 16 grams of saturated fat, the equivalent of less than 3 ounces of cheese.

To decrease your saturated fat intake, cut down on meat, cheese, butter and cream. Switch to more plant-based fats instead. For example, add guacamole instead of cheese to your tacos. Spread peanut butter — especially natural peanut butter — instead of butter on your toast. Sauté vegetables in a teaspoon of oil instead of a pat of butter.

Why are trans fats so bad for me?

Trans fats, commonly found in deep fried foods or foods made with partially hydrogenated oils, are especially harmful because they raise LDL cholesterol and also decrease the "good cholesterol, " high-density lipoprotein (HDL). There is no recommended level of trans fat because any amount can be harmful.

Fortunately, nutrition facts labels on packaged foods are now required to list trans fat content. Read labels and avoid foods containing trans fats.

Unhealthy Fats

Saturated, Partially Hydrogenated and Trans Fats

Healthy Fats

Mono- and Polyunsaturated Fats

Solid at room temperature

Liquid at room temperature

Animal fats (saturated fats)

Meats, cream, butter, lard, cheese, chicken skin

Plant oils

Olive, safflower, canola, sunflower, soy, peanut oils

Tropical oils

Coconut and palm oils

Nuts and avocados

Partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats)

Stick margarines, shortening, fast food, processed food

Omega-3 fats

Salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines, anchovies, flaxseeds, walnuts, soybean and canola oils

How much healthy fat should I have in my diet?

Research suggests that a heart-healthy diet can provide up to 35 percent of its calories from fat, as long as the fats are mostly mono- and polyunsaturated. For a diet of 2, 000 calories, that's a maximum of 78 grams of fat.

Unsaturated fats mostly come from plant sources, as indicated on the table above. One exception is the increasingly famous omega-3 fat, which is found in highest concentrations in oily fish, such as salmon.

New HQ Cafe opens at HealthQuest in Flemington  — The Star-Ledger
The healthy food menu features a wide variety of wraps, sandwiches, paninis, hot entrees and salads. Outside catering will also be available through the HQ Café for special occasions.

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