Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States?! The good news is steps can be taken to reverse this dangerous trend! These steps include eating heart-healthy foods to help lower high cholesterol and blood pressure, regular exercise, and frequent doctor checkups for early detection. You may be wondering: What exactly are “heart-healthy foods"? Read on to find out. Good carbohydrates include high-fiber, nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. To ensure you're eating whole grain products, check the ingredients list—the first ingredient should be whole or 100% whole wheat. Check the amount of fiber per serving, and shoot for at least 25 grams of fiber a day. Good fats come mostly from plant sources, with the exception of fish. Try to incorporate healthy oils, like olive and canola oil, in your recipes rather than butter and margarine. Other good sources of healthy fats include peanuts, flaxseed, walnuts and avocados. Try to eat 2 servings a fish a week or incorporate a fish oil supplement. Lean proteins contain less saturated fat, the kind of fat that increases your bad LDL cholesterol. The best types of lean proteins include skinless white-meat poultry, fish, other lean cuts of meat, soy products, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, nuts and seeds.
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