Treat your heart as you would a friend. Making mindful food choices, moving your body regularly and sleeping well are all key to maintaining a healthy relationship with your heart and avoiding heart disease. In recognition of National Heart Health Month, Mystic Valley Elder Services (MVES) Nutrition Services has the following good food choice tips:
- Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables every day.
- Include whole-grain, high-fiber foods, such as barley, bran cereals, brown rice, buckwheat, corn, oatmeal, plain popcorn, quinoa, rye, whole wheat bread, wild rice and whole grain pasta.
- Consume fish at least twice each week, especially herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, trout or tuna.
- Choose lean meats and non-meat protein alternatives – chicken, turkey, fish, pork, lean beef, beans, nuts, egg substitutes or egg whites.
- Select fat-free, skim or one percent milk, and low-fat cheeses and low-fat yogurt. (You can also try the new variety of nondairy milks available, such as almond milk or rice milk, which have less saturated fat than dairy.)
- Minimize your intake of partially hydrogenated fats, such as butter and margarine.
- Minimize intake of high-sugar, high-fat pastries, such as muffins, donuts, cakes, pies, cookies and candies.
- Limit beverages high in added sugars, such as soda, fruit punch and sweetened coffee and tea.
- Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt.
- If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation. Dietary guidelines suggest one drink per day for women and up to two drinks for men.
- Be attentive to your portion sizes and the balance of foods on your plate. Changes in weight can put stress on your heart.
If you are interested in learning more about Nutrition Programs at MVES, please visit mves.org or call 781-324-7705.