Are you watching your heart health? What about cholesterol? Is your blood pressure high? These are questions we’ve all likely been faced with. There are many things a person can do in order to improve their healthy habits, and eating well is at the top of the list. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute suggests anyone looking to better their heart health incorporate the DASH diet into their daily habits.

What is a heart healthy diet?

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute defines the DASH diet as a flexible and balanced eating plan that helps create a heart-healthy eating style for life. When following the DASH diet, there are a few things to keep in mind. Choosing foods that are not only low in saturated and transfats, but are also rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and protein can help lower your risk of heart disease. Additionally, foods that are lower in sodium can help maintain a healthy diet and heart health.

Ready to get started?

The DASH diet aims to set healthy daily and weekly goals related to nutrition. Participants are encouraged to read food labels, choosing items that are low in sodium and salt. Choosing fresh over frozen fruits and vegetables, choosing fresh poultry, fish and lean meats instead of cured foods are all a part of adopting this new lifestyle change.

The DASH diet includes:
  • Eating vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
  • Including fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans, buts, and vegetables oils.
  • Limiting foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and tropical oils, such as coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils.

While following the DASH diet can help control heart health, combining it with other healthy lifestyle changes can improve and help maintain your heart health, as well as blood pressure, and cholesterol. Check out these other helpful lifestyle changes you can make to help get back on track:

  • Maintain a physically active lifestyle
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Manage stress
  • Quitting smoking
  • Maintaining healthy sleep hygiene

Working toward a healthier lifestyle can not only improve health, but your overall mood and wellness. Eating clean can help your body to rejuvenate and get back into the swing of healthy living. Next time you are headed to the grocery store, check out the foods you are purchasing. You’ll be on your way to feeling better and maintaining a healthy lifestyle in no time.

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