A great place to start supporting heart health through the diet is by focusing on increasing omega 3, which has been found to improve numerous heart disease risk factors. It may even reduce triglycerides and improve blood circulation, as well as being shown to increase HDL “good” cholesterol, thereby helping to reduce cholesterol levels as HDL removes bad cholesterol from the body. Oily fish contains omega 3, as do flax seed, chia seed, and hemp seeds.
What should be increased?
Try your best to incorporate vegetables in every meal — this means breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Green leaves such as spinach and rocket are ideal, as are tomatoes and peppers. When you crave something sweet, try to opt for fruit. Raspberries are a super option, as they contain antioxidants and are full of fibre which could help lower LDL (bad ) cholesterol. Switch to wholegrains where possible, and enjoy those good fats. Good fats are an important part of your diet, and you can enjoy avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut oil, fish oil, olives, and eggs in moderation.
What should be reduced?
The main things to reduce are dairy,and red meat. These can of course still be enjoyed in moderation, especially in the correct form. Greek yoghurt and parmesan cheese can be enjoyed with appropriate portion control, as can meat in small servings. Ideally, meat should be added to a vegetable rich meal, such as stir fries or salads.
Evergreen’s top tips
If you are struggling in get an adequate amount of omega 3, there are several high quality supplements available. You can also use Zerochol supplements to support you while you improve your diet over time. Try to always stay hydrated; water is the ideal drink, and you can change it up by introducing sliced lemons, limes, cucumber, mint — the list goes on.
For more tips, visit your nearest Evergreen and have a chat with the fully qualified staff in store, or see Evergreen.ie