February is Heart Health Month.
There’s always more you can do to help keep your ticker ticking as long and loud as possible. Making health changes is easy and start with the foods you eat. Here are three fairly painless nutrition choices that’ll get you on the right track, according to the American Diabetes Association:
1. Limit your sodium intake – The federal daily recommendation is 2.3 grams of sodium. Those with high blood pressure should cut consumption to under 1.5 grams. Foods with the highest concentration of sodium are restaurant meals and packaged foods.
2. Get trans fats out of your diet and limit saturated fat – Avoid red meats high in saturated fat like lamb, beef and venison and meats high in sodium like bacon and ham. Trans fats can lower your HDL, or your good cholesterol, and raise your LDL — double trouble for your heart.
3. Exercise portion control and eat a healthy diet – Make fresh fruits and vegetables part of your meals and eat mono- and polyunsaturated fats. These include tofu, beans, fish; and lean meats for protein; and whole grains for nutritious carbohydrates.
Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables such as asparagus and broccoli; don’t make meat the main course of any meal.