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Dieting and Weight Loss Tips - Setting Up A Diet Plan for Those With Heart Disease

If you have heart disease you probably already know that you should be on what's called a heart healthy diet and that it focuses on heart healthy foods. But, you don't have to wait till you have heart disease to be on this kind of a diet. In fact if you get on one right now, you should be able to avoid developing heart disease. Below is an example of what a heart healthy diet should look like.

When you have breakfast you should try to eat cereal that is high in fiber. If you have 1 ½ cups of oatmeal, you will receive 6 g of the soluble fiber that your body needs to help remove the harmful cholesterol from your body that otherwise might collect on the walls of your arteries. If you add some sliced banana to it you'll be getting another three to four grams of fiber. It's recommended that you get at least 10 g of soluble fiber in your diet on a daily basis.

You should include in your diet a mid-morning snack and that should consist of eating fresh fruits or veggies. These are both high in fiber that you need as well as antioxidants and these will give your body the nutrients you need that those foods from the vending machines generally are lacing. So if you are working you should take a bag that has fresh fruits and vegetables in it for your snacks at work or have a supply of them at home if you don't leave the home for work.

You can also have whole grain crackers with some slices of low fat cheese of your choice. You can also consider getting some almond butter and use it as a spread for celery sticks. Hummus is also something else that is good and can be spread on some whole grain pita bread if you want. Adding some peanut butter or almond butter on some apple slices is also a good mid-morning snack.

At lunch time you might want to eat two cups of a homemade soup that is made with beans or lentils, both of these will provide some extra fiber in your diet and they are also a good source of low fat protein. Minestrone is a good soup as well and it gives you some extra oxidants as well as fiber and is low in calories. Eat with some whole grain pita bread, or even some cornbread.

If you don't like soup than take some albacore tuna and add some low fat mayo along with some Italian seasoning and then use it as a spread for some whole grain bread. This will give you the omega3 fatty acids your body needs.

You should also include a mid-afternoon snack in your diet. You need to avoid those late afternoon blues by avoiding the high sugar or high caffeine drinks to give you a boost and go for some sort of snack that is high in protein. This could be a handful of nuts like pistachios, almonds or some walnuts. You could also include with that snack some fruit like a pear or nectarine. You can also again add an apple with some peanut butter or almond butter spread on the slices. A fruit smoothie made with fresh fruit and low fat yogurt is another good mid-afternoon snack.

You should try to have your main dish for your dinner to be high in omega3 fatty acids. You don't have to do this every day but at least three times a day and a good one for that would be salmon because it lowers the bad cholesterol in your body. Other fish that is good for doing this would be mackerel, trout, sardines, tuna and herring. Foods with soy are also good for a heart healthy diet.

You should try and steam your vegetables and have them often as your side dishes. A good mixture would be broccoli, cauliflower, carrots along with some onions. You can sprinkle them with some Italian seasoning just before serving them and mix well. You can also have an occasional baked potato and try using the non-fat yogurt as a topping instead of sour cream. This is just a sample of what a heart healthy diet plan might look like. There are plenty of resources out there that can give you hundreds of different recipes and ideas on how to make this kind of diet plan not only healthy but versatile and fun to eat.
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How to Make Sure You are Eating a Heart Healthy Diet!

Having a hearth healthy diet should apply to both men and women except with women the portions need to be a little smaller than what a man might have. You need to know what foods are beneficial for your cardiovascular system and how well it functions as well as what kinds of food can do you harm. You also need to be aware of and be able to include the other things that are heart healthy besides just foods in order to have a healthy heart.

You need to eat a variety of different foods that are good for your heart. This means that you need a lot of foods that are high in fiber as well as antioxidants. You should probably try to take in 25 to 30 grams of fiber on a daily basis. The best fiber to get is soluble fiber because this is the fiber that actually helps to remove cholesterol. Some of those foods would be:
  • Oats, barley and whole wheat
  • Brown rice
  • Legumes
  • Lentils
  • Almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Flax seed
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Fruits and Veggies
You should also include a variety of plant sterol foods. These kinds of foods according to the American Dietetic Association have the ability to lower your LDL or bad cholesterol. These can be found in the following foods:
  • Whole grains
  • Vegetable and corn oils
  • Avocados
  • Sunflower seeds
They are also added to the following products:
  • Orange juice
  • Yogurt drinks
  • Margarine
  • Snack bars
You also should include plenty of foods that contain omega 3 fatty acids. These are foods that are known to be high in antioxidants as well as ingredients that will help to lower your cholesterol. So eating fish like salmon, herring, trout, sardines and tuna (not packed in oil) are good for getting this important nutrient into your body.

Foods that you should try to avoid because they can be harmful to your heart and will increase your bad cholesterol are the following:
  • Organ meats
  • Red meats (unless lean)
  • Whole fat dairy products (like whole milk for an example)
  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Egg yolks
  • Processed food
  • A lot of fast foods
  • Deep fried foods
  • Commercially baked products like cakes, pies, energy bars and cookies all have trans fats in them
It's very important that when you go shopping that you make sure to read all of the labels. When you read and understand the food label you will find it easier to find the foods that are good for your heart and avoid the ones that are bad for your heart. Always remember that when you look at the ingredients that the item that is listed first means that this is what the main ingredient is in the product.

It's also important to note you could be buying extremely healthy foods and you might be making it unhealthy by the way you cook it and then you are just defeating the purpose so make sure that you cook your foods healthy as well and try to avoid frying them as much as possible.
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