Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a common term for heart or blood vessel conditions. It is usually linked to an accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries (atherosclerosis) and an increased risk of blood clots.
Artery damage in organs such as the brain, heart, kidneys, and eyes can also be associated. Diet is a big thing for someone with heart disease.
It can slow down or even partially reverse the narrowing of the heart’s arteries, together with other healthy habits, and help prevent further complications.
By adopting a diet that curbs LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, lowers blood sugar and helps with weight loss, you can help a loved one with heart disease.
Restrict unhealthy fats
Limiting the amount of saturated and trans fats you eat is an important step to reduce cholesterol in your blood and reduce the risk of coronary artery disease. A high level of blood cholesterol can lead to a build-up of plaques in your arteries called atherosclerosis, which can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
As much as possible, avoid artificial trans- fats. For “partially hydrogenated” oils, check ingredient lists. Choose oils high in monounsaturated fat (e.g. olive oil and peanut oil) or polyunsaturated fat (e.g. soybean, maize, and sunflower oils) when using added fats for cooking or baking. By cutting fat off your meat or choosing lean meats with less than 10 percent fat, you can reduce the amount of saturated fat in your diet.
During cooking and serving, you can also add less butter, margarine, and shortening. Low – fat substitutions can also be used for a heart-healthy diet if possible.
For example, add low – sodium salsa or low – fat yogurt instead of butter to your baked potato or use sliced whole fruit or low – sugar fruit instead of margarine on your toast. You may also want to check the food labels of some cookies, cakes, frostings, crackers, and chips.
Eat more fruits and vegetables
Everyone could be able to eat more food based on plants. They are rich in fiber and other nutrients and can taste great in a salad, as a side dish or as an introduction. When preparing them, you don’t use too much fat or cheese.
Good sources of vitamins and minerals are vegetables and fruits. Fruit and vegetable antioxidants provide protection against heart disease. Fruit and vegetables are also important sources of folate, which helps to reduce the blood levels of amino acid homocysteine, which appears to be associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
Vegetables and fruits also have low calories and high dietary fiber content. Vegetables and fruits contain substances that can help prevent cardiovascular disease, like other plants or plant-based foods.
Eating more fruits and vegetables can help you reduce foods with higher calories, such as meat, cheese, and snacks. It can be easy to have vegetables and fruits in your diet.
Keep vegetables washed and cut for quick snacks in the refrigerator. Keep fruit in the kitchen in a bowl so you remember to eat it.
Select recipes that contain vegetables or fruits, such as fried vegetables or fresh fruits mixed in salads.
Reduce the salt in your food
Eating a lot of sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, a cardiovascular disease risk factor. For blood pressure, too much salt is bad. Instead, flavor food with herbs, spices or condiments.
A heart-healthy diet is an important part of reducing sodium. Although it is a good first step to reduce the amount of salt you add to food at the table or cook, much of the salt you eat comes from canned or processed foods.
Eating fresh food and making your own soups and stews can reduce salt. If you like canned soups and prepared meals, look for sodium-reduced sodium. Be aware that foods claiming to be lower in sodium are seasoned with sea salt instead of regular table salt – sea salt has the same nutritional value as regular salt.
Another way to reduce the salt you eat is to carefully select your condiments. In reduced sodium versions, many condiments are available, and salt substitutes can add less sodium to your food.
Choose whole grains
Whole grains are good fiber sources and other nutrients that regulate blood pressure and heart health. In a heart-healthy diet, you can increase the number of whole grains by simply replacing refined grain products.
Or try a new whole grain, like whole grain farro, quinoa or barley. Everyone could be able to eat more food based on plants. They are rich in fiber and other nutrients and can taste great in a salad, as a side dish or as an introduction.
When preparing them, you don’t use too much fat or cheese.
Some evidence suggests that antioxidants in tea can help prevent fatty deposits from building up in the arteries. Antioxidants can also act as an anti-blood coagulant and improve the dilation of the blood vessel to increase blood flow.