Healthy for Living with a Healthy Heart

Healthy for Living with a Healthy Heart

Just about 50 years ago, doctors did not know what was good for our hearts. Little attention is given to diet and even smoking can be accepted by some people.
But after nearly 50 years, scientists produced some simple and straightforward answers. Regular exercise is important, of course, and stay away from cigarettes.


But by far the most important factor is having a healthy diet. Eating the right foods is the most effective way to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, the two biggest enemies against a healthy heart.

Bad Fat Often we eat the wrong foods, especially fat. There are good fats and bad fats. Bad fats are saturated fats, found in red meat, and butter, These are very harmful to the heart. Study after study has shown that the more people who eat saturated, the higher the risk of heart disease. High-saturated fat foods increase low-density arterial lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol) foods that are high in saturated fat are often high in cholesterol as well. Healthy for Living with a Healthy Heart

The American Heart Foundation recommends that we limit our saturated fat intake to less than 7% of calories daily. For example, if you get 2,000 calories a day, your daily maximum limit for saturated fat is 14 grams. That means: in addition to eating fruits, vegetables and other low-fat foods, you can get 3 ounces of lean beef containing 5 grams of saturated fat), a portion of macaroni and cheese (6 grams), and half a cup of low-fat frozen yogurt (3 gram).

Another problem of fat, called trans fatty acids, has been shown to dramatically increase the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream. Trans fatty acids are created when manufacturers add hydrogen to vegetable oils to convert liquid oils into solid fats such as margarine and shortening. Ironically, this is meant to be a healthy alternative to saturated fat in butter. But it seems that trans fatty acids can be more harmful than saturated fats. Trans fats raise bad cholesterol (LDL) and lower good cholesterol (HDL), increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke. Healthy for Living with a Healthy Heart

Not just margarine and fried foods that may be a problem. Many cakes, cookies and other snacks contain “partially hydrogenated oils”, which also contain high trans fatty acids. Due to health risks, the American Heart Association recommends that you limit your daily intake to less than 1% of your total calories.

Some Fat Better Some fats are relatively healthy. You can easily recognize it by looking “un” like polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated. While the fat type theses are still high in calories, in small quantities, they play some useful role. Polyunsaturated fats (found in soybeans, corn, safflower, sesame, and sunflower oils, as well as nuts and seeds) help your body get rid of newly formed cholesterol, so they keep cholesterol levels down and reduce the pile cholesterol in the artery walls.

Monounsaturated fats also appear to help lower cholesterol levels for very low saturated fats. Although they are a good substitute for saturated fats, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats should be used sufficiently, because high calorie counts can lead to weight gain. No more than 30% of your calories come from fat.

Peanuts are a good source of healthy fats. In a study on Seventh Day Adventists, researchers found that those who consumed nuts at least four times a week had nearly half the risk of fatal heart attacks from those who took care of them periodically.

Although the American Heart Association recommends less than 30% of calories from fat, many health care professionals recommend less. They tell people to target about 20 to 25% of the total calories from fat, which most must be in the form of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

There are other types of healthy fats, perhaps the king of healthy fats, called omega-3 fatty acids. It is found in most fish (but especially in oily and cold fish) as well as flaxseed and certain green vegetables. Omega-3s may help prevent clots from forming in the arteries. In addition, they help lower triglycerides, a type of blood fat that, in large quantities, can increase the risk of heart disease.

Studies show that eating fish twice a week, especially salmon, because it contains high levels of omega-3, can help keep your arteries clean and your heart working properly. In a