The Best Foods to Eat for a Long Life
Heart disease is the leading global cause of death. In the United States alone, 2,200 people die every day from heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. If you don't want to be one of those grim statistics, begin taking care of yourself now. And one of the best things you can do is adopt a wholesome heart-healthy diet.
Heart disease is a bigger killer than cancer. Here are five must-know numbers for your heart health.
The best foods to eat for a healthy heart:
1. Fresh fruits
Eat the fruit instead of drinking the juice, which will have added sugar and little to no fiber. Do not substitute fresh fruit for dried fruits either. Choose fruits, such as apples, bananas, oranges, strawberries, raspberries and mangoes, that are high in fiber because they will fill you up and leave you feeling full longer. Fiber also helps control blood sugar and cholesterol.
2. Fresh vegetables
From broccoli to zucchini, prepare fresh veggies using a low-fat cooking method. Choose vegetables that are rich in color, including those with dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots and zucchini. Just as with fruits, eat vegetables that are high in fiber, including split peas, lentils, black beans, lima beans, artichokes, peas, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
3. Lean meats and fish
Protein is essential to any healthy diet. Choose lean meats, which have relatively low fat content, such as skinless chicken and turkey. (The skin on a chicken can account for as much as 80 percent of its fat content.) Fish is also an excellent source of protein. Prepare both meat and fish using a low-fat cooking method, such as baking.
Foods you should to limit or eliminate:
Best of all, it's OK to cheat every once in a while!
- Sugary drinks
- Fatty meats
- Processed meats
- Solid fats
- Salty foods
- Highly-processed foods
When you do cheat, choose dark chocolate, guacamole and tortilla chips or nice glass of pinot noir. All are heart-heathy.
What is the best exercise to keep your heart healthy? You may be surprised at how little you have to do to reap huge benefits.