Jan 092011

An unhealthy diet and an unhealthy lifestyle are the greatest risk to your heart. The basic key to a healthy heart is to keep the harmful low density cholesterol and risk of heart disease at a low point. With so much being written about healthy diet beneficial for the heart, what is actually the diet which should be followed by you?

Research shows that making minor adjustments to your lifestyle, you can keep your heart healthy and risk for heart disease at a low. You do not have to go through any elaborate procedures in order to improve your family’s diet. Most people do not understand the impact a few minor adjustments can make.

Coupled with regular physical activity, a well balanced diet helps control your weight. Obesity increases your chances of contracting a heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis etc. If you think it is just too much trouble to make some simple changes to improve your family’s diet, think again. Most people do not realize the incredible impact that a healthy diet has on our bodies, making the difference between poor health and good health.

Along with regular physical activity, a healthy diet is the most important factor that determines your weight. If you are overweight or obese, your chances of developing many diseases or conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, and certain cancers, increase significantly.

A balanced diet contains various nutrients, proteins, minerals etc in the correct proportion. The diet should consist of an adequate mix of foods and vegetables from all food groups. Like vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, legumes, proteins and low fat milk etc.

Vegetables – One should have enough vegetables in your daily diet. About a quarter of the diet should comprise of vegetables. A vegetable rich diet will give you almost all the nutrients required by the body and keep risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer at bay. It also promotes healthy weight, reduces risk of obesity. One should have vegetable like green vegetables, orange vegetable and red vegetables in your daily diet.

Fruits – About a third of diet should consist of fruits. Being high in water content and roughage content, these give you a fuller feeling while cutting down on calories. Fruits with high sugar content should be avoided.

Whole Grains – One should replace processed foods with whole grains. Whole grain cereals, breads, rice, and pasta should be preferred. These are good source of fiber and helps reduce risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Legumes – Beans, peas and lentils etc are a rich source of proteins. These are also low in fat and have limited cholesterol. The contain a molecule called phytochemicals which helps prevent heart disease and cancer. They have a high fiber content.

You can also lean proteins and low calories dairy products. Fat content in food should be avoided as they increase the LDC in body.