It has been understood that a healthy lifestyle and diet are the essential weapons to protect against heart disease. Unfortunately, this disease claims more lives than all forms of cancer combined and is a leading killer of women and men. Being diagnosed with the cardiovascular condition can also affect your quality of life, outlook and your mood.
While regular exercise and weight control are essential for keeping this muscle in shape – the food you consume matters just as much. A proper diet is crucial to heart disease prevention as it can reduce the risk of stroke by 80 percent. By adopting healthier eating habits, you will be able to manage and prevent high blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and take better control of the length and quality of your life.
Heart-healthy eating involves consuming vegetable oils, legumes, soy products, nuts, eggs, poultry, lean meats, fish, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. On the other hand, you need to limit intake of alcohol, added sugars, trans and saturated fats, and sodium. But, reducing the risk of the heart disease is about more than just healthy eating program.
You need to talk to your doctor about adding some other healthy lifestyle choices such as exercise program, decreasing daily stress and quitting smoking. In our article, each meal plan is within the recommended limits that are established by the American Heart Association for added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium.
Without further ado let’s dive in.
Meal Plan 1
Breakfast (calories – 266):
•Toasted, whole-wheat bread, one slice•One large egg, cooked in a coating pan with a thin layer of cooking spray or ¼ tsp. olive oil•Pinch of pepper and salt•Salsa, 2 tbsp.•One banana, medium size
A.M. Snack (calories – 63):•Blueberries, ¾ cup
Lunch (calories – 319):Veggie and Chickpea Salad•Mixed greens, two cups•Vegetables of your choice, ¾ cup•Rinsed chickpeas, 2/3 cup•Chopped almonds, one tbsp.
Mix ingredients and top salad with freshly ground pepper, two tsp. Olive oil and 1 tbsp. red-wine vinegar
Snack (calories – 62):•One Orange, medium size
Dinner (calories):•Green Peppercorn Sauce and Seared Salmon, one serving•Steamed green beans, one cup•One baked red potato, medium size, drizzled with a pinch of pepper and salt and ½ tbsp. olive oil
Meal Plan 2
Breakfast (calories – 287):•Skim milk, one cup•Bran cereal, one cup•Blueberries, ½ cup
Snack (calories – 95):•One Apple, medium size
Lunch (calories – 330):•Hummus-Veggie Sandwich•Hummus, three tbsp. •Whole-grain bread, two slices•¼ mashed avocado•Cucumber slices, ¼ cup•¼ sliced red bell pepper, medium size•Shredded carrots, ¼ cup•Mixed greens, one cup•Spread bread with avocado and hummus and top on vegetables
Snack (calories – 80):•¾ sliced red bell pepper, medium size•Hummus, two tbsp.
Dinner (calories – 425):•Peanut noodle salad and roasted tofu, 2 cupsStore leftovers from your dinner and take them for lunch on the next day.
Meal Plan 3
Breakfast (calories – 276):•Greek yogurt nonfat plain, one cup•Blueberries, ½ cup•Honey, two tsp.•Slivered almonds, 1 ½ tbsp.•Top yogurt with honey, almonds, and blueberries
Snack (calories – 102):•Hummus, 2 tbsp.•Two carrots, medium size
Lunch (calories – 319):•Peanut noodle salad and roasted tofu, 1 ½ cups
Snack (calories – 46):•Strawberries, one cup
Dinner (calories – 437):•Grilled Romaine with avocado-lime dressing, one serving•Chicken breasts, 4 oz. cooked in olive oil (1 ½ tsp.) and seasoned with a pinch of pepper and salt and ¼ tsp. cumin•Cooked quinoa, ¾ cupUse extra chicken meat for lunch on the next day.
Essential Tips to Prevent Heart Disease
1. Control the Portion Size
How much you eat is as important as what you consume. Eating until you feel stuffed and overloading your plate will lead to eating more calories than you should. Use a small bowl or plate to help control and manage how much food you take. Eat large meals of nutrient-rich and low calories food such as vegetable and fruits, and smaller portions of high-sodium, high-calorie snacks, such as fast or processed, refined foods. This method will shape up your waistline, heart, and diet.
You should keep track of everything you are eating. It would be great to have a diet journal so you can write down the amount of your daily portions. The recommended doses will vary depending on the specific eating program you are following. You need to learn the skill of judging serving size. But, you should use a scale, spoons or cups until you are comfortable with your judgment.
2. Eat more legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables
Everyone should eat more plant-based meals. They are rich in fiber and other nutrients, and they taste amazing as an entrée, side dish or a salad. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of minerals and vitamins. The most important thing is that they contain substances that help prevent cardiovascular disease.
And if you are too busy and don’t have enough time to shop and prepare your healthy meals, don’t worry there are a lot of delivery meal services that will do that job for you. Veestro Cooks plant-based, whole meals, freezes them and then delivers them to your door. All of their foods are made with non-GMO, organic, free of preservatives ingredients. The best part is that you can choose your favorite vegan meals and ingredients. Read more about that in this veestro review here and find out what else they have to offer. So, no more shopping, preparing and cleaning up for you!
Vegetables and fruits you should eat:
- Frozen or fresh fruits and vegetables
- Canned fruit packed in water or juice
- Low-sodium canned vegetables
Vegetables and fruits you should limit:
- Veggies with creamy sauces
- Breaded or fried vegetables
- Frozen fruit with added sugar
- Canned fruits stored in heavy syrup
3. Plan Ahead
When you know what food you need to consume and limit to prevent heart disease, it is time to convert those plans into actions. Using our strategies and menus, you should create your own daily diet plans. Limit salty food, choose healthy fats and lean protein. Add variety to your choices but watch those serving sizes.
For example, if you have a black bean burger one evening, try a grilled salmon the next night. That will help you to get all the vitamins and minerals you need. Varieties also make your snacks and diets more interesting. But, sometimes it is difficult to find time to prepare food, not to mention shopping for groceries every day.
That is why we love meal delivery services! Sun Basket is the perfect choice for anyone who is looking for sustainable, non-GMO, organic products and responsibly raised poultry and meats. Their menu includes Paleo, gluten-free and vegetarian diets that can be matched and mixed. Thanks to their special engineered packages they will keep your food fresh. All you have to do is choose the best meal plan for your needs! You can learn more about them in this sun basket review here.
Diet is a big deal, for someone with heart disease. It can partially reverse or slow the narrowing of the heart’s arteries and help prevent complications, along with other healthy habits. Adopting a good eating program will help you lower the blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol and with weight loss.
The key is to focus on your limits and what you can consume. Adding a heart-healthy food to your diet is as important as removing others. We hope that our article will help you to choose your ideal diet plan!