American Heart Month–Heart Healthy Tips

Heart Healthy Tips

American Heart Month–Heart Healthy Tips

For a person living with heart disease, diet is a big deal. Further, for anyone who wants to prevent heart disease, diet plays a significant factor as well. February is American Heart Month. The American Heart Association makes many recommendations for ways we can eat better and live healthier. Taking small steps could make a big difference. Here are some guidelines we found that could help lower cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and even help with weight loss. Follow these heart-healthy tips and live better, longer!

Tip #1 Focus on the Positive

The best strategy is focusing on the delicious and nutritious foods you CAN eat instead of what’s considered off-limits. There are tones of flavorful, tasty, and healthy foods you can add to your diet that will make a huge difference.

Tip #2 Eat More Plant-Based Foods

We are not saying to give up all your favorites like bacon or sausage, but to add more plant-based foods. Items like veggies, fruits, whole grains, and legumes are rich in fiber and other nutrients. Consider small changes like:

  • swapping for a whole grain bagel
  • adding spinach or avocado or lettuce and tomato to a favorite sandwich
  • mix in veggies with your scrambled eggs
  • using a smear of peanut or almond butter instead of butter
  • eating a side of fruit or veggies instead of chips

Tip #3 All Fats Are Not Created Equal

There are good fats, and there are bad fats. Try to increase good fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats help Lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, increases good HDL cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and prevent hardening of the arteries. Nutritional sources include:

  • Olive oils
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews)
  • Peanut butter
  • Flaxseed
  • Walnuts
  • Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines

Tip #4 Balance is Everything

Too much of one good thing may not always be a good thing. So, always try to eat a variety of foods at every meal. That means balancing protein, fats and carbs as best you can. Many of our Naval Bagels menu items offer a healthy combination of these macronutrients. Try our Popeye, City Girl, or the SoCal. And, remember, you can always request a “scooped” bagel for a healthier option.

Tip #5 Eat Regular Meals

Nutritionists always recommend eating regularly through the day, at least every 3-4 hours. That way you keep your “fire” stoked all day. It keeps blood sugar regulated and helps avoid high and low energy cycles. Plus it boosts the metabolism, thus allowing your body to burn fat efficiently and regulates your cholesterol levels. Consider smaller meals and snacks.

Tip #6 Hydration is Key

Staying hydrated improves energy. Plus, it helps to alleviate hunger and avoid bingeing. Shoot for the goal of drinking around 64 ounces of water a day, unless told otherwise by your doctor.

Let’s Do This!

Naval Bagels offers a diverse menu filled with many heart-healthy options. This February, in honor of American Heart Month, commit to making a few small changes. Click here for some other healthy lifelstyle recommendations.

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