Many contributing factors cause heart disease in women. Do you know these factors? Being educated and informed will reduce your risks, and help you maintain a strong and healthy heart. If you’re a woman approaching menopause, your chances of developing heart disease rises. When estrogen levels decreases, bad cholesterol increases and good cholesterol decreases.
Other risk factors include:
– Age 65+
– On birth control pills after 35 years old
– Family history
– High blood pressure
– High cholesterol
– Smoking and exposure to second hand smoke
– Sedentary lifestyle
– Excess weight in the abdomen
Some risk factors you have no control of, but the other risks you can manage by changing your eating habits and implementing physical activity.
Below are some foods that you can begin to incorporate into your diet that may reduce your chances of developing early heart disease. Don’t expect overnight results, but start taking baby steps to having a better and healthier heart.
IMPORTANT–> Consult with your physician before starting any fitness regimen. ALSO, if you’re on any type of medication, don’t stop taking them on your own, but discuss it with your doctor first. You can consult with your doctor, nutritionist or dietician to help you learn how to prepare and eat properly. ALWAYS check with your doctor before changing or adding things to your diet and/or fitness routine!
Heart Healthy Foods that you Should Add to your Diet:
– Olive oil
– Fish oil
– Flax seed
– Seeds and nuts and extracted oils such as safflower oil
– Monounsaturated fats such as almonds, avocado, cashews, peanuts and butters made from these nuts are all good for your heart
– All colors of fruits and vegetables; fresh or frozen (Avoid drizzling melted butter over your veggies)
– Whole grains, cereals, legumes, quinoa
– Omega-3 fatty acids found in a variety of fish and shellfish. Good fish to include are salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and albacore tuna. Healthy options to cook fish are grilling, baking, broiling, steaming, and poaching. Use low sodium seasoning, herbs and spices, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, ground black pepper, ginger, basil, dill and much more for flavor. Use salt sparingly.
– Omega-6 fatty acids are also important, but have no more than 2-4 grams in your diet
– Egg whites, skim milk, low-fat or non-fat dairy products
– Lean proteins such as poultry, beans, peas, and lentils
When eating these foods, portion control is key. It’s better to make your own home cooked meals and restrict eating out. It takes effort on your part to become heart conscious but it’s necessary to live a long healthy life.
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