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December 19th, 2010

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A healthy heart begins with a healthy diet. While changing our eating habits may be tough, it is essential to keeping our hearts and bodies healthy. To learn more about healthy eating habits, continue reading this article. Throughout the article we will discuss which types of foods should, and which types of foods shouldn’t, be included in a healthy diet plan.

If you are looking to start a healthy dieting plan, you will want to begin by limiting your intake of unhealthy fats and cholesterol. By doing so, you can begin to reduce your blood cholesterol levels and lower your risk of developing coronary heart disease. Lowering your cholesterol intake can also reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke! Some fats, such as olive and canola oil, are okay to include in our diets. Fats that should be limited are those such as the fats included in butter, bacon, and gravy.

On top of limiting fat and cholesterol intake, you will also want to reduce your salt intake. According to health professionals, high levels of salt intake are associated with high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends that, to keep our hearts healthy, adults eat no more than 6 grams of salt each day.

As most people know, a healthy diet includes a variety of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are an excellent food source because they provide our bodies with a variety of vitamins and minerals that are essential to our health. Not only do fruits and vegetables provide us with vitamins and minerals, but they also provide us with fiber, a component that helps control weight by filling our stomachs quicker. Fruits and vegetables also help to control our weight because they are low in calories. We can therefore eat large portions of them without gaining weight. By helping to control our weight, fruits and vegetables protect our hearts from the added stress of extra fat.

While most people know the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, many people are not as familiar with the benefits of whole grains. Like fruits and vegetables, whole grains are an excellent source of fiber, allowing us to get fuller off of smaller portions (and thereby helping to control our weight). Whole grains also provide our bodies with a variety of other nutrients that help to regulate our blood pressure and that help to keep our hearts healthy.

Keeping our bodies healthy is the first step to a healthy lifestyle and a long life. If you are looking to maintain a healthy diet, begin by limiting your intake of unhealthy fats, cholesterol, and salt. Instead of these, include a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your daily diet. Following these few simple rules will increase your health, as well as help you to maintain a healthy body weight. It will also significantly reduce your chances of developing a wide range of diseases, including a variety of diseases affecting the heart.