Supporting heart health is important for so many reasons and nutrition plays a big role in this. Of course its important to make lifestyle changes, reduce stress and exercise regularly but getting a well balanced diet is key. Some people are unfortunately at greater risk due to their genetic makeup so its particularly important that they monitor their heart health if its something that runs in the family. But the thing with heart health is that we all have one and we all have to take care of it and just because someone is thin, does not mean make them immune to heart conditions.
One of the things we hear about studies for on the news and radio is for cardiovascular disease (CVD). This makes it confusing to the average person because one day eggs are terrible for heart health and the next day they are great and then they get compared to being as bad as smoking. So what should you eat to reduce your risk of CVD or if you already experience CVD? Am I allowed to eat eggs? I'm young, does it really matter? These are all questions that are common and valid so let me break it down for you.
The Basics For starters, CVD is preventable in many cases so a lot of the power is in your hands. Although I come from a place of preventative health, the power is also in the hands of the individuals who are suffering from CVD to make changes to their diet to regain their health. CVD is becoming more common because of the Standard American Diet which includes fast foods, packaged and processed foods, high cholesterol foods, junk foods...you get the picture. These foods only continue to become increasingly accessible to us and come at a very low cost. In a society that is fast paced and high stress, you can see how easy it is to run through a drive thru at dinner for the whole family.
Eating this food can lead to high levels of cholesterol, high blood pressure and increased fat in the blood (triglycerides). If you don't start taking care of your body you increase your risk of developing CVD.
Education is Key I personally believe that education around nutrition at a young age is ESSENTIAL. Childhood rates of obesity are rising and there are even cases of hypertension among kids. Framing the mindset of young people is important so that they have the tools to make healthy choices for themselves and potentially impact the choices of their family. Of course some individuals don't have the same luxuries and rely on programs to feed their families that often include shelf stable canned and boxed goods - but for the most part there is room for improvement and kids can have the power to make those changes. I only wished that I knew more growing up and was encouraged in school to eat healthier and why it is so important.
Too much salt
"Bad" fats like hydrogenated fats
Keep body weight at a normal level
Vitamin C for cholesterol levels
Omega-3 Fatty acids
Selenium and vitamin E for blood pressure
Eat a diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and quality sources of fats and proteins In good health,
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