What Foods Are Good for Heart Health? | AFC Urgent Care | Portland

February is American Heart Month! This month is designed to raise awareness about heart health and heart disease, which is the leading cause of death among both American women and men.

Let's take a few minutes to talk through some risk factors for heart disease, as well as how you can change your eating habits to promote good heart health.

What Risk Factors Are Associated With Heart Disease?

When it comes to heart disease, there are both controllable and noncontrollable risk factors—meaning that there are some you can change and some you cannot. You cannot change your gender, your age or a family history of heart disease.

But you can take steps to reduce your risk by exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, getting plenty of sleep, not smoking and limiting your alcohol consumption. A healthy diet is also essential for good heart health.

Foods That Are Good for Your Heart

  • Leafy green vegetables

  • Whole grains

  • Berries

  • Avocado

  • Fatty fish

  • Walnuts

  • Beans

  • Dark chocolate

How Can You Use Food to Lower Heart Disease Risk?

What we eat plays a huge role in determining heart health. To promote good heart health, you want to fill your plate with lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and a small amount of healthy fat. This type of diet is what's promoted in the Mediterranean diet, which also contains a good amount of fatty fish.

You also want to limit certain things in your diet, including excess sodium, added sugar and saturated fat.

Foods to Avoid

  • Fried food

  • Processed foods that contain vegetable shortening

  • Candy

  • Soft drinks and sugar-sweetened juices

  • Sugary cereals

  • Cookies and pastries

  • Margarine

Are you looking for ways to improve your heart health? Visit us today for a checkup! No appointment is necessary.