Reduce Body Weight While Supporting Heart Health: 4 Smart Dietary & Lifestyle Choices to Start Today by Susan Bowerman, M.S., R.D., CSSD, CSOWM, FAND

Reduce Body Weight While Supporting Heart Health: 4 Smart Dietary & Lifestyle Choices to Start Today

American Heart Month (February) has come to an end, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prioritize a heart-healthy diet to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight year-round. Carrying too much body fat may increase your risk for heart disease – the larger and heavier you are, the harder your heart works to supply blood to all your cells. But healthy diet and lifestyle changes can help control weight and promote heart health, too.

Eating the right foods, controlling portions and engaging in regular physical activity are all key to weight management, which in turn helps promote heart health. Here are some tips to help: 

  • Low-fat proteins from a combination of plant and animal sources helps keep saturated fat intake down, while satisfying hunger. Choose nonfat or low-fat dairy, lean meats, fish and poultry to keep calories in check. Plant-proteins such as beanslentils and tofu are naturally cholesterol-free, and seafood provides heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids known as EPA and DHA.
  • Colorful fruits and vegetables, and whole grains, should be your go-to carbohydrates. They’re nutrient-rich, relatively low in calories and their fiber and water content help to fill you up. Focus on these “good” carb sources and you’ll wind up eating fewer foods that are filled with sugar and refined carbs.
  • Small amounts of beneficial fats, like a sprinkle of nuts, a drizzle of olive oil or a few slices of avocado, can boost flavor and nutrition in calorie-controlled meals. Since fats are more calorie-dense than either proteins or carbohydrates, using them thoughtfully and sparingly helps with calorie control.
  • Cardiovascular exercise that boosts your breathing and heart rate is a great way to promote heart health! Walking briskly, jogging and swimming are just a few exercises that can help your heart become more efficient at pumping blood. And while you’re exercising, you’re burning calories which helps you lose and maintain your weight. Regular exercise also helps keep blood pressure under control and is a great stress reliever!

The content on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information on this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider. The opinions or views expressed on 30Seconds.com do not necessarily represent those of 30Seconds or any of its employees, corporate partners or affiliates.

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Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
Heart health is definitely an all-the-time thing to be on top of!
Tribe
Eat the rainbow, people...

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