Good Eating Habits Can Prevent Heart Disease - Know What to Eat, What to Avoid, and How to Cook

By Albertina Belmont

You can prevent heart disease to a great extent just by improving your eating habits. So, educate yourself about the food items that you should eat and the ones that you have to avoid. Besides that, it will also be great if you learn how to cook a heart healthy diet. You will find the following information very helpful in this regard.
Eat Right Foods
Following is a list of food items that you should include in your diet to prevent heart disease.
o Use unsaturated vegetable oils, such as sunflower, safflower, olive, and canola.
o You need 6 cooked ounces of protein food group on a daily basis. Peas and beans can be good source of protein.
o Your daily food intake must also include 2-4 servings of dairy products. However, you are recommended to eat low-fat or nonfat milk. You can also try yogurt.
o Include plenty of whole grains in your diet, such as pasta, rice, and cereal. Eat at least 6 servings of these food items on a daily basis.
o Most importantly, you must eat at least 5-6 servings of fresh vegetables and fruits.
Food Items That You Have To Avoid
Following is a brief rundown about the food items that you have to avoid in order to prevent heart disease.
o Goose and duck meat should be avoided at all costs.
o Cut down the intakes of high-fat processed meats, such as sausage, bologna, and hot dogs.
o The use of organ meats should also be taken in a very limited quantity. Organ meats may include brain, kidney, sweetbreads, and liver of chicken or other birds or animals.
o High-fat dairy products should top your avoid list. Such products include cheese, butter, ice cream, cream, and whole milk.
Some Heart Healthy Cooking Tips
In order to keep your heart healthy and to prevent heart disease, you should also be very careful while cooking the different food items. Following are some quick tips.
o If you must eat meat, make sure that you have trimmed fat thoroughly. If you are cooking poultry, don't forget to remove its skin before cooking.
o For basting, you can use marinade, fruit juice, and wine.
o Use very low amount of solid fats (if at all you have to use it) while cooking. Solid fats include soft margarine, lard, and shortening (fat that is used to make pastries).
o You should try cooking methods that require no or very little fat. Such cooking methods may include broiling, baking, and boiling.
o When browning, you are recommended to use a cooking rack to drain off fat.
o Don't use the yolk of the eggs in your recipes. But, you can use egg whites.
Overall, the basic idea is to eat from every food group - you just have to focus on the quantity, quality, and the amount of fat and salt in it. In order to prevent heart disease, you should eat foods that are low in salt and fat.

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What You Should Really Know About Cholesterol

By ChiKoong Chong

You'd have most likely came across good cholesterol and bad cholesterol, and how bad cholesterol can have an adverse effect on your heart.
With certain high cholesterol foods currently been regarded as good while others are bad, trying to figure out which high cholesterol foods are actually good for your heart can be a challenge!
How good and bad cholesterols are different from one another?
From the scientific point of view, let's examine the difference in the way your body processes both types of cholesterols:
1. Good cholesterol or High-density lipoprotein (HDL). This type of cholesterol performs a kind of "recycling" process on unwanted cholesterol totally, taking the unwanted ones back to the liver to be got rid of. It can also assist to remove cholesterol sticking to the inner walls of the arteries.
2. Bad cholesterol or Low-density lipoprotein (LDL). This type of cholesterol is normally deposited on the walls of the arteries. Over time, the deposits increase and causing the arteries to become narrower and ultimately block the blood flow to the vital organs of the body, especially the heart. Foods with both saturated and trans fats are generally high in LDL.
Food containing good cholesterol
Since, you now know the difference between the two types of cholesterols, it's good to also know the types of foods that have good cholesterol. This is so that you can eat more of those with good cholesterol and cut down those without. To make it easier to identify those foods, jolt down the main components of good cholesterol:
1. Monounsaturated fats (MUFAs). These fats form the main component of good cholesterol and are found mainly in fruits, nuts and wheat products.
2. Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs). These fats are also largely found in good cholesterol foods such as corn and sunflower products as well as fish oils. Fish oils are generally rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are significant to increasing your HDL to LDL ratio.
Foods with the best sources of MUFAs, PUFAs and omega-3 fatty acids to maintain a healthy heart:
1. Avocado was previously thought to be too rich in cholesterol. But, that was before people came to know of its rich source of HDL cholesterol that works wonder against bad cholesterol.
2. Olive oil, peanut oil and canola oil are also excellent sources of HDL cholesterol that are friendly to your heart. You can feel a significant improvement in your heart health when you use them as cooking oil.
3. Almondis, perhaps, the best source of HDL cholesterol among all the nuts you find todaySubstituting unhealthy snacks, such as chips or crackers with a fistful of unsalted, raw almonds can significantly improve your heart health.
4. Prawn is another food that gets a bad reputation due to the presence of some amount of LDL. Nevertheless, it has sufficient HDL to negate its negative effects due to its inherently occurring fish oils. Salmon and tuna fishes found in certain part of the sea are noted for their excellent sources of HDL cholesterol.
5. Eggs are also excellent source of HDL cholesterolNot only that, but they also contain a multitude of other nutrients beneficial for your body. This is surely one of those foods you can eat every day in whichever way you like.
Other benefits of HDL Cholesterol Foods
You might be delighted to learn that the foods as stated above can also help you:
- increase in your memory power;
- increase your energy, stamina and endurance levels; and
- optimize your health and well-being.
Now, you're likely to feel glad to learn that not all of those HDL cholesterol foods you've been consuming are really bad for your health! In fact, some of those mentioned above, are very good for your health, especially when taken in moderation.
In conclusion, HDL cholesterol foods protect your heart against developing heart disease by combating the bad effects of LDL cholesterol. Since you're now aware of the facts, you don't need to restrict your diets to only low cholesterol foods but you can also consume high cholesterol foods as long as they're high in HDL.

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