Guide to a Heart Healthy Diet

The American Heart Association is dedicated to educating people about the important relationship between the daily diet and heart health. As with all of the body’s muscles, the heart requires a constant oxygen supply and necessary nutrients to remain healthy. A healthy diet is essential to keep coronary arteries clean and open so that the heart functions properly. High levels of cholesterol and fats can cause narrowing of the arteries resulting in a blockage. Known as atherosclerosis, this condition interferes with blood flow, which can cause coronary heart disease.

Health professionals agree that a heart healthy diet is beneficial for controlling the build-up of artery-clogging plaque that is detrimental to cardiac health. It is important to follow a diet that encourages the selection of heart healthy foods from a variety of food groups. Choosing to follow a healthy diet can be easily achieved, but may require making some lifestyle adjustments. Those who approach the concept of eating healthier with a positive attitude and make the commitment to view the change as a long-term endeavor, experience the most success.

1. Use Ingested Calories

Calories provide the body with energy that is needed for all bodily functions. The process of metabolism uses the calories the body takes in to supply this energy. It is important to ensure a proper metabolism balance. Consuming too few calories can have as much of an impact on the body as eating too many. When the body does not get enough food to supply the needed energy, it goes into a starvation mode. which results in loss of muscle instead of fat. Weight gain can result from consuming the wrong kind of fats.

Eating healthy nutritious food is important for achieving the energy level needed for an active healthy life. Exercise burns the calories that supply the body the fuel needed for all activities. Even brisk walking every day helps the body burn calories from the food that has been ingested. Even drinking caffeinated drinks such as black or green tree can cause some metabolic changes that help the body burn more calories. Just making the decision to become more active can have a positive effect on overall good health.