We’re celebrating National Heart Month the only way we know how– by getting pumped on heart-healthy nutrition! According to the CDC 1 in every 4 deaths in the United States is caused by heart disease. That frightening statistic isn’t only attributed to preexisting conditions, but also to the lifestyle choices we make every day. Our goal is to provide you with knowledge, tips, and tools to enjoy a healthy, well-rounded diet with a heaping side of exercise so that together we can help tackle heart disease in the U.S.
Managing the size of your plate plays a big role in keeping your body at a healthy weight, which is directly correlated to heart health. Controlling the amount of food you put on your plate doesn’t just mean shrinking the size of your china, but managing how much of each food group you’re eating on a daily basis and finding that healthy balance. Clean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, and lots of veggies are the key components to a healthy plate, but the portion size matters too. In fact, adults today eat an average of 300 calories more than they did in 1985, which directly correlates to increased obesity rates.
The Importance of Proteins
Luckily, healthy proteins are an easy and delicious way to increase satiety. Unlike foods high in sugar, lean proteins keep you full for longer. Additionally, a high-protein diet is shown to lower the risk of heart disease because it allows your body to continuously rebuild parts that are being depleted through daily exercise, illness, and stress. If you struggle to get enough protein in your diet, especially if fish and meats are not normally on the daily menu, try starting your morning with an Orgain Protein Shake. They pack the punch of 16 grams of protein, are gluten-free, organic, and contain 23 essential vitamins and minerals.
Fruits & Veggies Just Got Easier
Aside from proteins, a diet jam packed with fruits and vegetables can help provide your body with the vitamins and nutrients it needs to perform properly and keep your heart healthy. Fruits and vegetables aren’t just a colorful and tasty addition to your daily meals, but one of the number one sources of vitamin C and fiber. They keep our immune systems strong and our digestive systems running smoothly. Not a fan of “an apple a day” or maybe you aren’t a big salad eater? Try adding a scoop of Orgain Organic Superfoods to your daily protein smoothie, oatmeal, or even just as an on the go drink.
Don’t Skimp on Whole Grains
Whole grains contain vitamin B, iron, magnesium, antioxidants, fiber, protein and much much more. All of these amazing nutrients help in revitalizing the body and brain and keep things like cholesterol and blood sugar at healthy and manageable levels. Whole grains such as quinoa, wild rice, and barley can be added to just about any meal, either in a salad or as a hearty side to protein and veggies. It’s important to recognize that not all grains will provide the complete nutritional package so stick with whole grains to keep your heart pumping.
Good Fats vs. Bad Fads
Last but not least; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Which fats are healthy? The American Heart Association has highlighted the three most common types of fats that Americans consume on a daily basis: unsaturated fats, saturated fats, and artificial trans fats and hydrogenated oils.
Unsaturated fats are considered good fats and consist of everyday items like olive oil, avocados, nuts, and fatty fish such as salmon. Unsaturated fats contain helpful dietary components known as polyunsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, and omega-3 fatty acids. According to the Mayo Clinic when eaten in moderation these fats can help to control blood sugar, improve healthy cholesterol levels, and prevent heart issues later on in life.
The bad and the ugly–these fats are considered potentially harmful and should be limited or avoided as much as possible in the average American diet. Foods that come from animal sources such as cheese, cream, and full-fat meats are high in saturated fats which are linked to higher cholesterol levels and in turn higher risk of cardiovascular disease. But like most foods, consumption of saturated fats is about portion control.
Similar to saturated fats, artificial trans fats and hydrogenated oils come from the process of hydrogenation, which makes fats harder to digest. Foods like processed sweets, packaged snacks, coffee creamers, margarine, and ready-to-bake dough are some of the most common foods that can easily be replaced. So instead of reaching for your processed morning creamer try adding a splash of Orgain’s Organic Almond Milk . Each serving has 10 grams of protein and zero grams of saturated and trans fats. Keep the health train moving by replacing margarine with olive oil, avocado oil, or sunflower oil.
Join us this month and stay focused and dedicated to your health. Together we’ll keep our tickers ticking on!