I spend all day talking about a heart healthy diet, and figured hey it is completely blog worthy! Obviously my everyday speal is given to heart failure patients, but it is something everyone can benefit from. Considering that heart disease is one of leading causes of death in the US. Now I am just going to throw this out there, I am by no means an expert, these are just an accumulation of my experiences as a nurse, and things I have come across. Lets get started. Grab some nutrition labels
Heart Healthy Rules
#1 What is the serving size?
Many people read the contents of the label, but skip the step of how many servings they are actually eating. More often than not you will be shocked at how small the serving size actually is.
#2 What is the total fat content per serving? Less than 5 grams
Many people look at the fat break down and that’s great, but not realistic for the average joe. The rule of thumb I always tell my patients is this number should be equal to or less than 5 grams per serving.
#3 What is the sodium content per serving? Less than 300 Mg
This one is most definitely the Debbie downer! The food in our country is packed with sodium, and it is terrible for you. Feeling a little bloated? You would be amazed at what happens when you watch your sodium intake. Simple chemistry lesson: water follows salt, if you have a lot of salt going into your body, you will retain fluid. Simply stated you’re going to gain those annoying LBS. Idealy to even enter the mouth foods should contain less than 300 mg per serving, but the goal should be less than 140 mg per serving.
The good news! Following a heart healthy diet does not have to be extremely complicated. The key is learning to read labels and follow these easy steps. There are even canned foods on the market that are classified as heart healthy, so pull those cans, boxes, or containers off the shelf and read the labels before shooting them into the cart.
Grocery shopping tips:
Shop the edges of the stores first. This is where you will find the fresh produce, meats, and dairy. When you do enter the middle READ THOSE LABELS. It will take a few shopping trips before you master this technique, but once you get it down you will know which brands are Safe.
God Bless! C