5 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy

Eat like this to help keep your heart healthy

Following a heart-healthy diet can really impact your health. Half of heart disease deaths in the U.S. are preventable. According to an Emory University study, the leading five controllable risk factors are obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking. Eighty percent of Americans have at least one risk factor. Follow these heart-healthy diet tips to fight the big 5 risk factors.

 

Chickpea, Spinach & Squash Gnocchi

Pictured Recipe: Moroccan Lentil Salad

Focus on Fiber

You don't have to follow a strict diet to lose weight, according to a 2015 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Individuals who simply ate 30 grams of fiber daily lost almost as much weight as those on a low-cal diet. So chow down on fiber-rich foods, such as raspberries, broccoli and lentils.

Try our Quick High-Fiber Dinner Recipes.

 

Skip Sugary Sips

Skip Sugary Sips

Sugary beverages aren't so sweet for type 2 diabetes. When British adults swapped their daily soft drink for water or unsweetened coffee or tea, their type 2 diabetes risk dropped 14 to 25 percent. Smart sipping doesn't have to be boring—infuse your water with cucumber or mint or switch to seltzer with lemon.

 

Go Vegetarian

Giving up meat may have a similar impact on your blood pressure as nixing salt, found a review published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Going vegetarian was associated with a 5 mmHg drop in systolic blood pressure, which could reduce your risk of death from heart disease by up to 9 percent. Check out our Best Vegetarian Recipes.

 

Get Omega-3s

Omega-3s may help you quit smoking, according to a study from Israel. Smokers who took supplements of EPA and DHA (two types of omega-3s) for a month, smoked less and had weaker cravings. To get this from salmon, you'd need over 12 ounces daily, so supplements may be more realistic. It can't hurt to try this Roast Salmon with Chimichurri Sauce.

 

Huevos Rancheros Verdes

Pictured Recipe: Huevos Rancheros Verdes

Enjoy Eggs

No need to give up eggs, found research from The FASEB Journal. Compared to those who ate an oatmeal breakfast every day for a month, egg-eaters saw no increase in LDL ("bad") cholesterol. Plus, HDL ("good") cholesterol increased. Oatmeal eaters kept LDL steady, but didn't get the HDL bump. Need some egg inspiration? Check out these Easy Egg Recipes.

Next: Our Top 15 Heart-Healthy Foods »