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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Health Issues and Diet >>  Heart Disease >>  Diet For Healthy Heart
  • Healthy Heart Diet Plan

Everyone can benefit significantly from a good diet plan, even if they are not really suffering from any physical problems. In fact a healthy, nutritious and good diet plan can be very effective in the prevention of many medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart diseases. Many people are advised to follow healthy heart eating measures, mainly because they are at a high risk of suffering from heart attacks, heart failure and other similar heart problems. In fact, there are many fad diets that claim to offer heart healthy diet menus, such as the sacred heart diet plan.

The sacred heart diet plan is a 7-day plan that focuses mainly on healthy heart eating.

This diet plan has been used for years now, by people who are overweight and are at a high risk of heart diseases. This soup based diet claims that a person can lose around 10 to 17 pounds within one week. However, since it is a fad diet, it cannot be followed on a long term basis, because of which people could regain all the weight they lost, as soon as they resume normal eating habits. Therefore, it is best for people to make a few lifestyle changes, in which they incorporate healthy heart cooking techniques on a long term basis. This means eating foods that are fried should be strictly avoided. This includes deep fried, shallow fried and stir fried food. Instead, most healthy heart foods are prepared using cooking techniques like steaming, simmering, poaching, baking, broiling or roasting.

Heart healthy diet menus should mainly include those foods that improve the health and the functioning of the heart. Some of the most highly recommended healthy heart foods include tofu, oranges, spinach, kidney beans, broccoli, tomatoes, salmon, brown rice, almonds, sweet potato, acorn squash, flaxseed, soymilk, walnuts, red pepper, cantaloupe, oatmeal, blueberries, red wine, asparagus, papaya, tuna, carrots, black beans, tea and a small amount of dark chocolate. 

Fortunately, it is possible to access several examples of heart healthy diet menus though various resources, such as health articles, online websites and so on. However, it is absolutely essential to consult a medical health care provider as well as a nutritionist, while designing a heart healthy diet for women and men. Before including any heart healthy foods in an existing diet, it is best to consult a doctor; this is all the more important in case of men and women who are elderly or are suffering from other preexisting medical conditions. People should avoid switching over to any diet, without getting a go ahead from their health care providers.

Heart Healthy Diet Recipes

Many people who have followed an eating plan for the heart have been asked to consume high amounts of healthy heart diet soup. However, one of the main factors that cause people to lose their motivation to follow heart healthy diet guidelines on a long term basis is the lack of variety. Eating the same types of food over and over could make people bored soon, after which they start eating foods they know are not healthy. Moreover, many people believe that heart healthy food recipes are bland and tasteless, as the food is only boiled and steamed, devoid of spices and taste. However, this is not really true as there are several heart healthy meals recipes that are quite tasty, as they are prepared using healthy herbs and spices. There are many low calorie and low cholesterol diet recipes for each meal, such as:

Heart Healthy Breakfast Recipes

  • Spinach and feta omelet, with mushrooms and other healthy veggies
  • Banana and oat breakfast cookies 
  • Bran muffins, made with dried fruit
  • Pumpkin pancakes 
  • Scrambled tofu with mushrooms 
  • Cranberry and granola bread 
  • Oven cooked French toast 
  • Zucchini and asparagus frittatas 
  • Tortilla wraps

Heart Healthy Lunch Recipes

  • Turkey wraps, with lean turkey, fresh veggie and low fat cheese 
  • Grilled shrimp salad, with asparagus and light mayo
  • Stuffed pita bread with roast chicken and hummus 
  • Tuna salad sandwiches 
  • Waldorf salad, with turkey or chicken 
  • Oriental salad with chicken and ginger-soy dressing 
  • Lentil soup with salad 
  • Herbed chicken roast 
  • Fish tacos

Heart Healthy Dinner Recipes

  • Fajita and ranch chicken wraps 
  • Wheat spaghetti with tomato sauce and shrimp 
  • Apple glazed turkey 
  • Baked chicken with avocado salsa 
  • Farfalle with spinach and mushrooms 
  • White bean and tuna Panini 
  • Stuffed pepper 
  • Grilled turkey or chicken burgers

Most of the recipes mentioned above are heart healthy weight loss recipes, which are quite good for most people. However, the nutritional value may vary, based on the way they are prepared. Moreover, it is best to consult a doctor and get an approval before incorporating any of them in a regular diet.

Heart Healthy Diet Menu

Most health care providers advise people about following the right heart healthy nutrition at an early age, in order to prevent any problems from occurring later on in life. While many people prepare heart healthy meals, following recipes they receive, from various resources, most of them are not really aware of what heart healthy nutrition really is. The best heart healthy diet is one which restricts the consumption of fat in people. Given below are the guidelines for the consumption of fat:

  • Saturated fat: No more than 7% of  the caloric intake
  • Trans fat: No more than 1% of the daily caloric intake
  • Cholesterol: No more than 300 mg a day, for adults and below 200 mg for those who are at a risk for heart diseases

Therefore, heart healthy meals should mainly include:

  • Vitamins: Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Fiber: Seeds, grains and cereals, like whole-grain bread, brown rice, high fiber cereal, oatmeal, barley, flaxseed, buckwheat and whole-grain pasta
  • Protein sources: Skinless chicken, soybean and tofu, skim milk or low fat milk and fat free dairy products like yogurt or cottage cheese, egg whites, lean meat, legumes and cold water fish like salmon Healthy fat: Olive oil, canola oil and margarine 
  • Healthy fat: Olive oil, canola oil and margarine

Healthy spices and herbs can also be to improve the flavor and taste of food, since the condiments should be avoided. Good spices include ginger, garlic, cinnamon, rosemary, parsley, sage and so on.

Exercise also plays a very important role in the maintenance of a healthy heart. People are advised to walk, run, jog or swim for at least half an hour each day, to improve heart health. While weight training is also good for the heart, most health experts advise people to engage in cardio exercises.

Apart from a heart healthy diet and exercise routine, people are also advised to practice relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or massage therapy for a stronger heart. Habits like smoking and alcohol consumption should be completely avoided.

Before making any changes to a diet, it is best to consult a doctor.

Submitted on January 16, 2014