A healthy diet equals a healthy heart. Did you know that heart disease and Type 2 diabetes are closely related? A recent national study on Latino health (by the National Institutes of Health) revealed that 1 in 3 Latinos, prone to Type 2 diabetes, are pre-diabetic. Since eating habits affect heart health, how can we manage our diet to minimize heart disease? Here are some ways to improve your diet to help the most vital organ inside you:
- Eat the food you like, but not by the shovelful. Love fast food, or M&Ms? Allow yourself to have them as a treat every couple of weeks, while increasing the healthy options in your house at any given time. This way, when hunger strikes, you’ll be more likely to reach for something good for you.
- It’s not just hype: consuming lots of fruits and vegetables is essential in maintaining heart health. It’s almost impossible to develop health problems by eating too many, so go ahead and indulge in nature’s bounty.
- Cut out white rice. If you’re used to eating white rice, simply switch to the much healthier brown variety. White rice is refined brown rice, and the refining process strips the grains of their nutrients, from fiber to magnesium to phytic acid. According WebMd, replacing white rice in your diet with brown rice may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Experiment with sweet potato recipes in place of white. Sweet potatoes contain many more vitamins and minerals than their white counterparts, and can help balance out a nutritious diet. All white potatoes really do is fill you up temporarily.
- Embrace whole grain bread. Love baguettes? Learn to love some of delicious varieties of whole grain loaves available in stores—your body will thank you.
- “Fat” isn’t always a bad word. Research shows that some fats, such as those found in avocadoes and olive oil, are good for the human body (the heart included).
As The Engine Goes, So Goes The Car
We are what we eat. Medical studies and common sense tell us that. Boiled or baked, fried or fat-free, foods have a direct impact on our heart. Heart disease is the number 1 killer of people of all types in this country. Be the master of your diet and lessen your risk of being a victim. What are your favorite heart healthy foods? Listed in the related articles section below are some of our heart-healthy recommendations.