Heart disease is a serious problem among Americans. In fact, it’s the leading cause of death in both men and women. While your goal in pursuing weight loss may be to simply lose weight and look better, more important things are at stake. Following a weight loss plan carefully could actually help you to improve the overall health of your heart and lengthen your life! If you want to take this benefit one step further, consider adding some known “heart healthy” foods into your weekly weight loss plans.
Heart-Healthy Food #1: Fish
You probably already know that most fish is lower in calories than other types of meat. What you might not know, however, is that fish can also be awesome for your heart, especially fish that is high in healthy omega-3s, like salmon, trout, mackerel, tuna, and herring. All of these types of fish can be made even more heart-healthy by baking, steaming, or broiling (never frying) and by using little to no salt in their preparation.
Heart-Healthy Food #2: Oatmeal
Like fish, oatmeal is a low-calorie alternative to other foods, but also like fish, it’s great for your heart! Packed with soluble fiber, oatmeal can help to lower cholesterol, which is important since cholesterol can lead to heart disease and heart attacks. If you’re not a fan of oatmeal, choose other whole-grain products, such as pastas or breads, consumed in moderation of course.
Heart-Healthy Food #3: Blueberries
Blueberries and other berries are a delicious, sweet treat and a wonderful alternative to sugary snacks, like cakes and cookies. However, they can also reduce your risk of heart attack and heart disease thanks to their many antioxidants, which have been shown to lower blood pressure and improve overall health in general.
Heart-Healthy Food #4: Beans
“Beans, beans, the magical fruit!” While they might not actually be a fruit, beans are kind of magical in their own way. They contain lots of fiber, B-vitamins, and minerals, all of which can boost your heart health. Darker colored beans, like black beans, are particularly good for you, so eat up!
Heart-Healthy Food #5: Dark Chocolate
We know, we know; dark chocolate doesn’t sound much like a “diet food,” but believe it or not, it actually is pretty healthy, especially where your ticker is concerned. Eating a small serving of dark chocolate daily can reduce the risk of heart attacks, stroke, and other heart-related problems thanks to its flavonoids, which can improve blood pressure and protect your heart.
Heart-Healthy Food #6: Tomatoes
Finally, tomatoes are delicious, and they’re also quite good for you and for your heart. This low-calorie super food is packed with lycopene, which can assist with lowering bad cholesterol and thereby reducing your risk of heart attack and heart disease.
Are you getting enough of these amazing foods in your diet? If not, work them in; combined with a healthy eating plan, they’ll make your heart beat strong for years to come.