Try heart healthy eating

Heart Healthy Eating

By Simone Jennings, Registered Dietitian

Interior Health

According to the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation every seven minutes someone in Canada dies from heart disease or stroke. Heart disease and stroke are two of the three leading causes of death in Canada, costing the Canadian economy $22.2 billion every year in physician services, hospital costs, lost wages and decreased productivity.

Luckily through a healthy lifestyle we are able to control or prevent many of the risk factors for heart disease such as physical inactivity, being overweight, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, stress, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption. Being physically active and eating a healthy diet will have a significant impact on the health of your heart and blood vessels.

If you are looking for ways to make your diet more ‘heart smart’ here are a few things to consider.

Concerned about cholesterol? A low cholesterol diet is not necessarily the key to healthy blood cholesterol levels. The truth is the types and amounts of fat we eat actually have just as much or more influence on our blood cholesterol than dietary cholesterol does. If you have elevated cholesterol levels you should limit high cholesterol foods, such as egg yolks, shrimp, and organ meats to twice a week, but it is also important is to follow the tips below to increase fibre and healthy fats.

Get the facts on fat. Not all fat is created equal so following a strict low fat diet is not the solution to a healthier heart. It is actually important to eat moderate amounts of healthy fats such as avocadoes, olive oil, nuts and seeds, and cold water fish. However, you do want to limit saturated fat and trans fat as they can increase ‘bad’ cholesterol levels. Try to limit these fats to less than 20 grams per day combined by choosing low fat dairy products, lean meats, non hydrogenated margarines (or butter in moderation), and avoid baked goods made with hydrogenated oils.

Focus on fibre! Soluble fibre is particularly important for heart health as it helps keep cholesterol levels in check. Soluble fibre is found in oats, barley, ground flaxseeds, nuts, legumes, psyllium husks, and apples. Fibre not only helps lower cholesterol but it also provides appetite satiety to prevent overeating and promote a healthy body weight.

Be sodium savvy. Excess dietary sodium is a major risk factor for developing high blood pressure. Read the nutrition label on packaged foods to check the sodium content. Most packaged or canned foods contain added salt. It is recommended to limit sodium intake to 1500 milligrams per day. Look for products that state ‘no added salt’ and rinse canned foods before eating.

The best way to start making healthier choices is to be informed about what you are eating. Before putting an item in your grocery cart look at the nutrition labels. This means looking past the health claims on the front of the package and reading the Nutrition Facts Table and Ingredients List. For more information visit Health Canada’s website and check out the new interactive label reading tools www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/label-etiquet/nutrition/index-eng.php

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

File photo
BREAKING: Fuel tanker fire closes Highway 24

Emergency crews are on scene on Highway 24 at Cartwright Road.

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

(TNRD Library)
Let the mystery of the Summer Reading Club begin

Are you ready to ‘Crack the Case’ at the Barriere Library?

(Metro Creative photo)
Gardeners of all ages invited to enter 2021 NT Fall Fair contests

The North Thompson Fall Fair Drive Thru scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 4,… Continue reading

Milsom Lodge was built in the East Barriere Valley when the Milsom brothers purchased two parcels of land in 1911, DL 2323 and DL2324. (Milsom’s photo)
The Milsom Lodge: The mansion, the ballroom, the history

“At the turn of the century, when so many families were leaving… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read