|1. Calories Matter: Being overweight is one of the primary risk factors for heart disease. Be sure your caloric intake is appropriate for you level of activity so that you can maintain a healthy weight.
2. Eat plenty of fiber: A high fiber diet will help you control your weight and also can help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Fiber makes you feel more full so you will be less inclined to over eat. The recommended amount of fiber is 25 grams per day; however, 35-40 grams per day is ideal.
3. Eat more of fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables contain fiber but also are rich in antioxidant nutrients that help protect your heart. Eat at least five servings of colorful vegetables (carrots, peppers, spinach, and broccoli) to get a minimum of 100% of the daily recommended amounts vitamins and minerals.
4. Eat healthy fats: You do not need to eat low fat but rather eat healthy fats. A diet rich in monounsaturated fats can help lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and other risk factors. Monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, avocados, and nuts such as almonds.
5. Watch your sodium: A diet high in sodium can lead to high blood pressure. Most Americans eat 4000-5000mg of sodium per day. A healthy person should be consuming roughly half of that. If you high blood pressure reducing your sodium to 1500mg is advisable.
6. Limit your intake of high GI carbohydrates: Foods that are high on the glycemic index can create sharp spikes in blood sugar and ultimately increase your risk of both heart disease and diabetes.
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