Following a Heart-Healthy Diet

A healthy heart is a key factor in enjoying a long, active life. Along with physical activity, adequate sleep, abstaining from smoking and keeping your stress levels low, eating a nutritious diet is crucial to heart health.

Dr. Antoine Geffrard of RMS Consultations in Southfield, MI, can help you create a balanced meal plan that provides vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates to fuel your body and improve your cardiac health.

What are the components of a heart-healthy diet?

Balance is key to meeting all your nutritional needs. Your daily meals and snacks should cover the basic food groups, which include fruit, vegetables, grains, dairy, protein and fats. A heart-healthy diet is high in produce and low in sugar and processed foods, like cookies, refined grain crackers and snack mixes.

When choosing fruits and vegetables, focus on those high in fiber, such as berries, broccoli, apples, citrus, cabbage and carrots. Choose produce in a wide variety of colors to ensure you consume a multitude of vitamins and nutrients.

Legumes, including peas, lentils and beans, are a great source of both fiber and protein and are low in fat. Other sources of heart-healthy protein include fish, lean meats, eggs, and low-fat dairy. Cutting back on your consumption of meat, or opting for a vegetarian diet, can be a great way to improve your heart health by reducing saturated fat and cholesterol consumption.

When eating grains and carbohydrates, focus on those that are unprocessed. Whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta and bran cereals are nutritious options. If you are gluten intolerant, try oatmeal, quinoa or brown rice. Dr. Antoine Geffrard can teach you how to read a nutrition label to identify whether your bread, bagels or muffins contain whole or refined grains.

Don't fear fats -- they are crucial for body function, energy, and satiety. Avoid foods with trans fats, and focus on polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats like those found in olive oil, nuts, salmon and avocado.

Sweets can be part of a heart-healthy diet -- no need to refuse a slice of birthday cake or a cookie. Just make sure to keep treats occasional.

Find a satisfying, delicious and nutritious heart-healthy meal plan with the help of Dr. Antoine Geffrard in Southfield, MI. Call our office today at (248) 663-5353.

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