Much like exercise, we know it’s important to eat healthy, not only for our heart health but also for our overall health. However, it can be really tough to change your eating habits, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If you’re ready to start making some changes this Heart Health Month, check out these heart-healthy diet tips for seniors.
- Control your portion size. While we often focus on what we eat, how much we eat is really important too. You can utilize serving size recommendations or use the MyPlate guidelines for a better idea of how much your eating. Additionally, using a small bowl or plate that’s full and loading up on low-calorie, nutrient rich fruits and veggies can help you to feel like you’re getting more.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are generally low in calories, yet they have so many important vitamins and nutrients to help you fight heart disease and other chronic diseases.
- Choose whole grains. White bread and other baked good with white, refined flour is stripped of fiber and other important nutrients. Simple making the switch to more whole grains can be hugely beneficial for both your heart and your health as a whole.
- Limit unhealthy fats. Saturated and trans fat can increase your cholesterol and risk of heart disease and stroke. It’s best to limit things with saturated and trans fat. This includes fatty meats, butter/margarine, cream, and more.
- Choose low-fat protein options. Lower fat protein options like fish, skinless chicken breasts, lean ground meats, low-fat dairy products, eggs, legumes, and soy products will also help lower your cholesterol and limit healthy fats, while still getting good protein.
- Reduce your salt intake. Too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, which increases your risk of heart disease. In trying to eat more heart healthy, it’s important to reduce how much table salt you’re using, how much salt you put in your foods, and prepared meals and snacks high in sodium.
- Plan ahead. Trying to eat a healthy diet is hard, which is why meal planning is so important. Planning your meals helps you to ensure you’re getting everything you need in a day or week and can help with some of the overwhelm of eating healthy.