The foods we put into our bodies have a direct impact on our health, particularly our heart health. For this reason, the American Heart Association recommends incorporating fruits and vegetables, whole grains and heart-healthy fats into your diet to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Other heart healthy foods are those that are rich in fiber and antioxidants and low in sodium and saturated fats.
By swapping out a few of your favorite foods for healthier, nutrient-dense options, you can significantly increase your overall health – so we’re sharing a list of simple swaps you can make to improve your eating habits.
Swap Mayo for Avocado
Mashed avocados are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats that fight inflammation and may help protect your heart. Avocados provide nutrients and fiber that you won’t get from mayo.
Swap Butter for Olive Oil
Olive oil is rich in antioxidants, including vitamin E and polyphenols, which protect blood vessels and other components of the heart. While olive oil is a healthier, unsaturated fat, butter is a saturated fat.
Swap Refined Carbs for Whole Grains
Whole grains are loaded with dietary fibers which can help you improve cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Refined carbs are stripped of the grain and important nutrients that whole grains contain.
Swap Red Meat for Chicken & Fish
Both chicken and fish are leaner pieces of meat than red meat. Chicken and fish have less saturated fat than red meat, which can raise your blood cholesterol and make heart disease worse. Fish is full of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids that can help reduce the risk of heart failure, coronary heart disease and stroke.
Swap Chips for Nuts
Nuts contain heart-healthy, unsaturated fats along with fiber and other nutrients, while chips are high in sodium and contain unhealthy fats. People who regularly eat nuts are 14% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease and 20% less likely to develop coronary heart disease.