I’m a Cardiologist, and This Is What I Eat Every Day for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Your heart is your top priority. Our bodies are complex, yes, and there are many systems in play, but your heart runs the show.
If there’s something you must look out for is your ticker, yet 655,000 Americans die from heart disease every year. This means one of every four deaths is related with heart and circulatory illnesses.
To say this is alarming would be an understatement, mostly because heart disease is avoidable. And it all starts with what we eat.
An adequate diet will keep you safe from heart disease, as simple as that. Eat well and you won’t have to worry. Sure, an active lifestyle will help, just move around and keep that heart pumping blood to your muscles. Back to the food, here’s how I approach a heart-healthy diet through the day.
A Hearty but Healthy Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but we often get it wrong. We either down-play it or overdo it. What you want in the morning is energy, and you also want to replenish your nutrient sources, most of them depleted at night.
Whole grains are a good way to start. An unsweetened granola packed with nuts and seeds is a fabulous heart-healthy breakfast. You can add some fresh berries in there, too. Their antioxidants will keep your arteries healthy.
If you want something savory, you might want to have a few slices of avocado toast in the morning. Make sure you’re using whole grain bread, and never white bread, which has had all its nutrients stripped off.
Avocados are extraordinary for your heart; they’re loaded with plant-based fats that will lower your bad LDL cholesterol.
Food to avoid: Sugary drinks, fruit juices, honey, syrup, white flour bread, processed meat (sausages, bacon).
A Heart-Conscious Lunch
For lunch I always recommend a hearty salad, one with lots of leafy greens, including arugula, spinach or kale. You can top it with grilled chicken or fatty fish like tuna or salmon.
Leafy greens are incredibly good for your heart, they can lower 16% your chance of suffering heart disease. It’s thanks for the vitamin K and its artery protecting properties.
Fatty fish has large amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids that reduce your triglyceride and cholesterol levels. They can also decrease your blood pressure.
Tomatoes will give color to your salad, and their lycopene antioxidant will strengthen your circulatory system.
Finally, add a fistful of your favorite nuts or seeds. They’re very nutritious and have plenty of extra plant-based mono-unsaturated fats.
Foods to avoid: Fried foods, too many carbs, desserts, sugary sodas, processed foods, cured meats, margarine and other trans-fats.
A Fabulous Dinner for your Heart
We all like wholesome dinners, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Wholesome doesn’t mean unhealthy. Here are a few ideas for a dinner that’s both satisfying and good for your heart.
Turkey is one of the leanest meats out there, and when cooked right its incredibly flavorful and juicy. Grilled or roasted chicken are delicious as well, and pretty healthy.
Don’t be afraid of enjoying a steak once in a while, saturated fats are not the enemy. Enjoy a thick, bloody steak every now and so, and do so with a side of mashed potatoes.
Add abundant salad to your dinner, that way you’ll eat fewer proteins and carbs and more veggies.
Have some legumes for dinner from time to time, enjoy a vegan dinner at least once a week. Beans, lentils, chickpeas, they’re all delicious and filling.
Go Asian too. Vietnamese, Thai and Japanese foods are amongst the healthiest and tastiest on the planet. They cook with little oils, lots of seafood and veggies.
Taking Care of Your Heart Doesn’t Mean You Can Eat Delicious Meals. Here are Some Extra Tips
• What you eat is as important as how much you eat. So, keep an eye on your portions.
• Drinks count too, have a cup of tea in the evening, it has many antioxidants.
• Use herbs and spices instead of salt. That way you’ll enjoy tasty food without increasing your blood pressure.
• Please stop smoking, this might be the best choice you’ll make in your life and will keep your heart safe.
• Satisfy your sweet tooth with chocolate high in cacao, at least of 70% and if it’s low in sugar, much better.
• Get moving. A little exercise every day will have a massive difference in your heart’s health. Even a thirty-minute walk can have a significant difference.
• You’re not alone. Get help from friends and family, join a support group, and find people looking to stay healthy. Don’t underestimate the power of good company.