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Got Stuck? Try These 3 Ways To Find The Best Food For Your Heart

Even though we are all aware of the advantages of eating healthily, developing healthy eating habits takes time and practice.

Your risk of heart disease can be affected by your diet—the foods and drinks you eat and drink, not short-term restrictive programs. Dietitians and doctors use evidence-based eating strategies to prevent and treat cardiovascular (heart) disease.

With the 2023 theme of Unlocking the Potential of Food, National Nutrition Month is a great time to learn more about these methods and adopt heart-healthier habits.

According to the Clinical Practice Guidelines of the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS), there are three primary dietary patterns that can lower the risk of heart disease: the Portfolio Diet, the Mediterranean Diet, and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH).

3 ways to unlock the power of food

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1. Master and conquer the 90 percent goal

Choose a goal that you are ninety percent certain you can achieve and devise a strategy for achieving larger, more difficult objectives in the future. You’ll learn valuable information about what works for you and what doesn’t with this approach, which will help you build self-assurance in your abilities.

According to research, we are more likely to achieve future objectives if we start with 90% of our goals. A 90 percent objective could be trading out creature protein for plant protein — like tofu or beans — at lunch on Mondays (Meatless Mondays).

Another instance: Use a meal delivery service that delivers plant-based recipes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday using measured ingredients to get fresh ideas on how to add more plants to your meals.

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2. Why eliminate and restrict, when you can substitute?

Work with a registered dietitian or set a “do instead” goal to replace unhealthy foods and drinks with healthier options. Avoid setting goals like “stop eating sugar” that could make you focus more on the foods you’re trying to avoid.

Instead, opting for a lower-sodium soup or purchasing pre-cut vegetables with the goal of halving your meal’s amount of starch can be part of the substitution strategy. According to Diabetes Canada, Heart & Stroke, and Canada’s Food Guide, vegetables should make up half of your plate.

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10,258,505 Healthy Food Stock Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from Dreamstime

3. Set value-based goals

Make your goal a part of something that is very important to you. Research demonstrates that the things that are most important to us right now motivate us the most, even though long-term outcomes like heart disease may be the catalyst for change. The sustained change will be made easier by choosing personal and significant reasons for change.

Choose to cook a meal with a close friend or family member that includes vegetables, for instance, so you can share the experience and spend time together. The following values may serve as the basis for this example: kindness, values of relationships, cultural values, empathy, and bravery.

Focusing on changing eating behaviors and eating habits one at a time is crucial, according to research.

You can make well-informed choices and plans that are tailored to your particular needs, situation, preferences, traditions, abilities, and capacity with the help of a nutrition professional, such as a registered dietitian and/or a psychologist.

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