The cardiac diet guidelines recommended here are aimed primarily at lowering the high death rate from heart disease, they may also help prevent other diet-related diseases.
Here are 15 tips to prevent heart disease with a cardiac diet:
- Avoid diet that is high in saturated fats, cholesterol, salt and sugar
Most of the recognized risk factors for coronary heart disease are influenced by a rich diet.
- Eat a variety of foods each day
Different types of food are necessary to supply the main nutrients required for good cardiac health. No single food contains all these materials.
- Prevent and control obesity
Obesity is one of the world’s major health problems. It increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Reducing excess fats, alcohol and sugar and increasing physical activity will help to bring down your weight. Eat less, rather than cutting out whole categories of food.
- Eat less fat
Excess fats in the diet may contribute to obesity, high blood cholesterol levels, heart disease and certain cancers. Choose lean meats, low-fat dairy products and use low-fat cooking methods. Use butter, margarine, cream and oils sparingly.
- Eat less sugar
High sugar intake is associated with obesity and tooth decay. Sugars, whether white, brown, raw or glucose, are solely an energy source and their nutrient content is negligible.
- Limit alcohol intake
Excessive alcohol contributes to the health, social and nutritional problems of many people. Low nutritional status results when habitual drinking interferes with good eating habits.
- Eat more fruit, vegetables, and cereals
Constipation, diverticular disease and other constipation-related ailments are linked with lack of dietary fiber (found only in plant foods). Bread, whole grain cereals, fruit and vegetables provide necessary dietary fiber and a variety of nutrients. They are best for replacing foods high in fat and sugar.
- Eat less salt
Sodium from excessive use of table salt and salty processed foods may contribute to high blood pressure. Reducing excess sodium intake from an early age may help to control hypertension. Salt should not be added to food prepared for infants.
- Enjoy water
People drink large amounts of soft drinks and alcohol, which may contribute to obesity and dental caries. Where possible, quench your thirst with water. Use water rather than sweetened syrups and beverages for infants and children.
- Encourage breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is the preferred method of providing a growing infant with nutrient and energy needs in the correct proportions. Breastfed babies run less risk of infection than those who are bottle fed.
Use lean meats, chicken and fish. Remove all visible fat before cooking. Avoid sausages, luncheon meats and salami-type meats. Replace some meats with beans, peas and lentils several times a week.
- Fats and oils
Use minimal amounts of butter, margarine, oils, high-oil salad dressings, mayonnaise, cream and cream substitutes.
- Dairy products
Limit intake of whole milk and high-fat cheeses and ice cream. Use low-fat milk products, including skim milk, cottage and ricotta cheeses.
- High-fat food products
Avoid fried foods, high-fat takeaway foods, pastries, cakes, donuts, chocolates and fried fun foods.
- Cooking methods
Use methods that require minimal fat or oil (e.g. grilling, baking, braising, steaming, boiling or pressure cooking). Use recipes requiring only moderate amounts of fat.