You may or may not be aware of it, but February is Heart Month. Considering many seniors throughout the San Francisco Bay Area have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other heart-related health issues, we thought it would be a good idea to talk about the best diets for reducing the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other issues related to senior heart health.
First we'll start with some foods known to be heart-healthy - foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, soluble fiber, potassium, and monounsaturated fats. Fatty fish like salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids and are great for the heart; shown to reduce the risk of plaque build-up in the arteries and arrhythmia. Eat a couple of servings of salmon, sardines or other fatty fish each week to boost heart health!
Did you know consuming at least three servings each week of strawberries and blueberries can lower heart attack risk by as much as 32%? A 2013 study among women aged 25 to 42 supported this fact. Berries lower blood pressure, so eat those berries several times a week.
Here are a few of the best heart-healthy diets according to health professionals:
The DASH Diet focuses on limiting salt and foods high in saturated fat, while eating foods rich in protein, potassium and calcium.
The Ornish Diet encourages foods high in complex carbohydrates and fiber, while banning foods with refined carbohydrates, cholesterol, excessive caffeine, and almost all animal products. It is recommended only 10% of calories come from fat.
The TLC Diet promotes foods high in fiber and fish/poultry that is baked, grilled, broiled, roasted, steamed, or poached. The primary focus is slashing fat (and particularly saturated fat) from the diet and strictly limiting the daily intake of cholesterol.
Other diets chosen by health professionals for good heart health include the Flexitarian Diet and the Mediterranean Diet.
Eating well is vital for heart health, but it's also important to stay physically active and keep stress at bay as much as possible. When you eat healthy, not only do you boost your heart health, you feel better and healthier overall!
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