When it comes to heart health, some foods get better grades than others – and some completely fail the heart health test. Here are some tips on what to eat (and not eat) to keep your heart beating strong. And make sure to scroll down for a delicious, heart-healthy recipe: Smoky Mustard-Maple Salmon.
The worst foods to eat for your heart are:
- Fried. Research has shown that the more fried food you eat – we’re looking at you, French fries and fried chicken – the greater your risk for heart failure.
- Highly processed. Fast foods and snack foods like chips, cookies, cakes or sugared cereals tend to fall into this category. Besides lacking essential nutrients, they tend to be high in fat, sugar and salt.
- High in sugar and/or salt. And speaking of the dreaded duo, eating too much of both or either can raise your heart disease risk. Cutting out soft drinks is an easy way to cut your sugar intake. And trading your salt shaker for spices or a squeeze of citrus is a good way to break your salt habit.
The best foods for your heart are:
- Fruits like berries (which are full of antioxidants) and cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage and kale.
- Whole grains, like brown or wild rice and whole oats.
- Tip: Soaking your oats overnight in the fridge (in any kind of milk, nut-milk or even yogurt) helps break down starches in the oats. This makes them more easily digested and absorbed by the body.
- Lean protein, including poultry, lean beef and wild-caught fish.
- Nuts like almonds or walnuts, and legumes such as beans, lentils and peas.
- Healthy fats and oils, like olive or avocado oil.
And you’re in luck, because we’ve included a heart-healthy salmon recipe to help you stay on track. Enjoy it with steamed veggies and wild rice for a balanced and delicious dinner!
Feed your heart right
Visit our Healthy Recipes page on Pinterest for more heart-healthy recipe ideas from breakfast to dessert.