Live Total Wellness

Monday, May 02, 2011

Eating Your Way To A Healthy Heart

You are what you eat, literally. Change what you put into your body and you will not only change the way you look but you will also make changes to your body and the way it functions as well. Here are some choices for delicious tasting foods that have more of what you want without all the unhealthy fats and additives.

Food, food, food - it seems to be everywhere. We need to eat it to live but we don't have to live to eat. There are many reasons why we eat in excess. The food tastes good. We are stressed. We are eating mindlessly. All contribute to a higher weight and a higher fat content in our diet than we need.

In an ideal world your heart would be working fine. Your vessels would be unclogged and strong. Your food would provide the right amount of nutrients to keep the organs functioning, oxygen needs met for various functions and your body burning fat stores for energy.

Unfortunately it is not an ideal world, but you can work to create an ideal environment inside your body. It all starts with the food you eat. Many of the nutrients we need come our food, including fat. The choices we make with food, determine what kind of nutrients we allow to enter our bodies.

PROTEIN

Protein is needed for muscle growth and repair of cells, as well as, bones, hair and many other systems. We get protein mostly from red meat but there are other healthier sources of protein.

Here is a sample list.

*Skinless poultry
*Eggs
*Fish
*Green Vegetables
*Nuts
*Legumes

These are only a few sources of proteins. You can find them in whole grains such as quinoa. Look for healthier fats without the saturated fat component that is found in red meat, pork and chicken.

CARBOHYDRATES

These are the fuel source of your body. Carbohydrates are turned into sugars for fuel or fat for storage to be used later for fuel. According to the glycemic index, carbohydrates fall into one of two categories. Carbohydrates that place higher than 50 on the index will spike blood sugar and lead you to consume more empty calories to gain more energy. Fewer than 50 on the index and your blood sugar will stay steady, reducing cravings and overeating.

Here are a few examples of foods that are lower on the glycemic index.

*Brown rice
*Whole grain products (pasta, breads, low sugar-high whole grain cereals)
*Vegetables
*Fruits

Many processed foods are made from white processed flour. These empty calories provide too much unhealthy fat. The fat raises the levels of LDL cholesterol which can increase blood pressure and the incidence of cholesterol plaques that can lead to heart disease and heart attacks.

FAT

The body does need some fat. Make sure these fats are healthy such as oils and nuts.

Here are a few examples.

*Olive oil
*Almonds
*Coconut oil

There are many more. Mono and polyunsaturated fats are the best choices.

What is in your food pantry? If you don't have any of the foods listed above, you may want to
revamp things a little in favor of a healthier heart and body overall. Read the food labels and shop for your main food sources on the outside of the store. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best basis for your meals. As long as you have a good amount of these with each meal, you are on the road to eating your way to a healthy heart.

2 comments:

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