Following a heart healthy diet can go a long way in preventing heart disease. Such a diet also works as a heart attack diet - one that works well for those already suffering from coronary heart disease. Studies prove that a good, balanced and nutritious diet can prevent heart attacks to a large extent.
The right foods can help in preventing blood clots from forming and fatty material building up in the arteries. Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels within acceptable limits with the heart attack diet.
Diet to prevent heart attack
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- Keep a watch on your calorie intake - Calorie intake should be proportionate to your age, height and activity level. Make sure that only 30% percent of the total calories are derived from fat.
- Eat whole foods; consume plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains and nuts and seeds. This will reduce the cholesterol levels in the body.
- Vegetables and fruits should be consumed raw or should be cooked minimally, this will preserve the enzymes. Fiber from fruits and vegetables reduces the chances of getting a heart attack.
- Use whole-wheat bread, long-grain rice and whole-grain cereals instead of white bread, white rice and cereals made with white flour.
- Garlic lowers cholesterol and triglycerides and lowers blood pressure. Eat three fresh cloves every day.
- Eat onions regularly. Onions, in particular the red onions contain valuable antioxidants that are beneficial for the heart.
- Avoid or decrease consumption of caffeine, alcohol and sweetened carbonated sodas. Opt for protein from lean sources like, skinless chicken and soy-based products. Avoid fatty meats like sausage or cold cuts; you can consume it minimally if converted to reduced-fat or fat-free forms.
- Use two egg whites instead of one whole egg.
- Smoked, salted, cured and canned meat, fish and poultry contain too much of salt. Avoid them and choose unsalted fresh or frozen meat, poultry and fish for cooking.
- Avoid trans-fat, avoid or minimize use of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, peanut butters and margarine. Use products containing monounsaturated fat like olive oil.
- Fats from animal sources like meat, milk, cheese and butter contain excess fat hence avoid them. Palm and coconut oils also contain excessive fat.
- Use plain low-fat yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese or low-fat sour cream and mayonnaise instead of regular sour cream and mayonnaise. Use low-fat, low-sodium cheese instead of hard and processed cheese.
- Cook using low-fat oils like corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean, olive, canola, peanut and sesame oils.
- Increase the consumption of essential fatty acids, EFA by consuming oily fish, seeds and nuts. Omega-3 and Omega-6.
- Research proves that eating just an ounce of walnuts everyday might decrease the risk of a heart attack.
- Use unsalted or low-sodium whole-wheat crackers instead of salted crackers.
- Reduce salt intake. Sodium is necessary in our day-to-day diet but many of us eat too much of it. Most of the sodium we consume comes from salt that we add to our food at the table. It is advisable to avoid adding salt to food at the table.
- Consume small frequent meals instead of one large meal.
- Food items like wheat germ, tofu, potatoes, spinach, broccoli, etc normalize the heart's functioning.
- Honey strengthens the heart; take one teaspoon of honey and allow it to dissolve slowly on the tongue. Do this thrice daily for a few weeks. If you are diabetic, you cannot take honey.
- Consume steamed, baked, micro waved or broiled food instead of fried food.
- Reduce sugar intake.
- Keep alcohol consumption under check as it can cause damage to the heart muscle as well as increase blood pressure.