I recently started reading the book, Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life! What stuck out to me was a list of recommended foods that are both nutritious and can help maintain heart health. I plan on incorporating these items into my diet throughout my weight-loss journey and beyond:
Fish: Think salmon, tuna, or herring. Baked or broiled is the way to go. Fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which helps to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.
Olive oil: Try it on bread or use it as cooking oil. Olive oil, along with peanut, canola, and flaxseed oil, is a good alternative to butter because it’s high in monounsaturated fats which help fight inflammation.
Dark chocolate: Cocoa is rich in antioxidant flavonoids and may help reduce your chances of developing heart disease. Avoid milk chocolate because it is high in fat and sugar.
Beans: Full of fiber and antioxidants, beans are a good replacement for red meat.
Nuts: Walnuts, almonds, and pecans help lower cholesterol and provide heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Eat just one to three ounces a day so you don’t take in too many calories.
“Sticky” grains: Try adding oat and barley products to your diet. The soluble fiber in these grains may help to significantly lower your cholesterol.
Our 2012 Weight Loss Diary writer, Yasmin, is a 32-year-old web content producer who is looking to get healthy and love her body! Follow along on her year-long weight loss journey!