4 Common Myths About Calcium Diet

4 common myths about calcium

I am going to explain these common myths about calcium diets. I have heard them repeatedly. My clients say that taking calcium will cause weight gain. So please let me explain these rumors.

  • Calcium causes weight gain
  • Calcium causes heart attacks
  • Calcium supplements are enough
  • Calcium will cause acne

Calcium causes weight gain

Here is the simple formula to gain weight. Eat more than your requirements. So, if you are eating more calories than you need, you are going to gain weight.

Milk and dairy products give us protein, calcium, vitamins A, D, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.

We need all these elements into our diet. They are essential for our body growth. While milk is not the only source for calcium, milk will give you these vitamins.

In addition to milk, add salads, green vegetables, nuts, peanuts, almonds and seafood into your diet plan.

To fulfill our calcium needs we need 1 cup of milk daily along with above-mentioned foods. I take 1 glass of milk daily because I like milk and I know my diet plan.

I have a perfect body figure and I know if I am taking 1 glass of milk, I should take only 4 to 5 nuts, Not more than that.

Calcium causes heart diseases

We need calcium for our healthy bones. Our bones get slimmer as we are ageing. Good mixture of essential nutrients, fatty acids, magnesium, and vegetables are required for healthy bones.

If your diet is high in saturated foods, it will definitely cause heart disease.

I have heard this statement many times:

“Do not take calcium. It will cause heart attacks because fats will block heart valves and arteries. ”

The answer is in their statement.

You should consume low-fat dairy foods. Remove the cream from the milk and drink it. You have removed the major source of saturated fats from the milk.

In this way, you will receive nutritional benefits of dairy food without fats.

Raw cheese is a good bone building and cardio protective food. It is easily available in the market. If you have time, you can make cheese at home.

Calcium supplements are enough

First, I do not recommend calcium supplements. Try natural supplements like milk, yogurt, fish and vegetables.

If you are taking calcium supplements, do not assume that you are taking enough calcium. You need 1200 mg calcium dose per day.

Moreover, calcium supplements will not give you other necessary minerals and vitamins. I do not like calcium supplements because I like milk and supplements are not tasty like a milk dessert.

Have you ever taken frozen milk?

Try it! It is a nice dessert.

Calcium supplements are not enough. Do consult your doctor before making any kind of health decision.

Calcium causes acne

Well friends

This is a rare case. I do not know about your skin conditions. But it doesn’t make sense to me. Calcium cannot cause acne.

If your skin is oily, you should not take too much fat.

In scientific terms, I cannot see any link between acne and calcium. If you are using yogurt, honey or milk cream for facial purposes, stop using them and consult your doctor.

May be your skin is not ready for such materials. Before you buy any beauty product, make sure it is tested and it is suitable for your skin conditions.

We all need calcium

Friends Calcium is necessary for a strong and a healthy life. It is essential for your bones. It will prevent osteoporosis.

If you are not taking enough calcium, your body will take calcium from your bones and the results are not good.

4 Super Fat-Fighting Foods

We all want to lose weight fast while still enjoying the foods we love and not working out all day. Experts say it’s impossible, but I’m an eternal believer in having my cake, and eating it – literally. Try these tips to optimise what you are already doing, but consuming less calories, and burning more at the same time.

Food Swaps

Instead of consuming one large cinnamon roll, have two mini cinnamon rolls and a cup of orange juice. Or replace your standard full-fat ice-cream with homemade icecream, easily made from frozen whipped coconut cream, which is low in calories and rich in nutrients with cocoa powder. You can even add some banans.

Exercise

If you live a reasonably sedentary life, the thought of exercise alone can be exhausting. However, take it from a fellow couch potato: any exercise is good. Two months of yoga had a tremendous effect on my blood pressure and energy levels, so much so that I’m ready to take on something new.

Exercise needn’t be boring either. If you don’t like walking, jogging, skipping of weightlifting, consider a fun exercise that you can do at home, such as Zumba, Yoga, Tae-bo or Pilates.

Foods

Every little change for the positive helps when you’re trying to lose weight and including these foods into your diet will enhance the taste of your meals and have a positive, fat-burning effect.

1. Turmeric

Turmeric brings a delicious taste and beautiful yellow colour to curries. It also contains curcumin that is known to inhibit the growth of fat cells. It also prevents fat storage.

2. Black Pepper

Rich in piperine, black pepper also blocks the formation of fat cells.

3. Red Peppers

Chilli, paprika and cayenne pepper contain capsaicin which refs up the metabolism and helps to curb your appetite.

4. Ginger

Ginger helps to break down fatty acids in your food, and helps them to be eliminated, rather than stored in the body as fat.

The Reason Why You Struggle to Lose Weight

Many people don’t understand why they are overweight, despite eating healthy foods and exercising regularly. The problem is that much of the food available to us today is either genetically modified or lacking in essential nutrients. That’s why it’s so important to find a quality supplement that addresses nutritional deficiencies and imbalances effectively.

Chinese Cooking for Low Calorie Meals

It is really great to note that people are getting more conscious of their health lately. Perhaps the Internet has a great contribution to this. Anyway, as people become increasingly aware of their calorie intake and levels of saturated fat, sugar and cholesterol, they are getting hesitant of buying and consuming even the foods they love. It is also the case of the Chinese takeout served from their favorite restaurants. It is true that people fond of Asian food have to think hard at choosing a dish, as most of them have a higher calorie content and unhealthy fats. But that doesn’t mean they can no more enjoy their favorite dishes. One important reason that makes Asian food unhealthy is the way it is cooked. You can surely prepare at home the dishes you love to eat by following these Chinese methods of cooking that involve low calories and enjoy. Dishes made this way are tastier and healthier than what you are served at restaurants.

The first and foremost step you need to take for preparing healthier Chinese dishes at home is to refrain from deep-frying. Surely you can recall that any food, whether meats or veggies, that you eat at your favorite joint, contains too much of fat. Well, that’s an accepted norm currently. Oil is awful for your health because of its high calorie content and also because it generally has a high content of saturated fat, as well as cholesterol. These components are injurious and one of the main reasons for cardiovascular diseases. So, as far as possible, do not deep-fry your eatables. When you deep-fry food, it retains fat in abundance. If you cook at home, you can certainly reduce your consumption of oils to a great extent. Apart from the volume of oil you may use at home, you also have a control on its quality. It is possible to almost completely avoid oil by using non-stick cookware and vegetable cooking spray.

Rather than deep-frying your food, you can follow some other ways of cooking that help controlling fat. Let us consider a very popular Chinese dish named Sweet and Sour Chicken. The traditional style of preparing this dish is to deep fry pieces of chicken, making them absorb a lot of oil. Here, you have the option of breading it, using bread crumbs and a bit of cooking spray before finally baking it in an oven.

You may already be aware of the healthy benefits of steaming your food. You can surely use this method for preparing Chinese dishes also. This technique of cooking employs the heat content of water vapors for cooking food. A very healthy feature of using steam for cooking is that your food largely retains its vitamins and nutrients, which get considerably reduced or almost eliminated.

Another benefit of cooking Chinese foods at home that goes a long way in keeping a check on your weight and waist is to reduce your consumption of meats. Meat contains saturated fats, increasing the calorie content and cholesterol.

The Benefits of Cayenne Pepper Powder

Cayenne pepper is a spice some people would happily put in their meal to spice it up, while on the other hand, some would avoid it, afraid not to burn their tongues. No matter which type of person you are, the capsicum (its other name) has undeniable advantages for your health. That is why including some cayenne pepper powder wouldn’t bring any harm, right? The result would actually be the other way around because the cayenne is full of vitamins, as well as magnesium, calcium and many other useful substances.

What is cayenne pepper powder useful for?

Capsicum can be helpful with:

  • Blood circulation issues, blood cells regeneration, heart and cholesterol troubles, etc.
  • Digestion and metabolism improvement
  • Suppressing the appetite for weight loss enthusiasts
  • Various aches and pains (toothache, headache, arthritis pain, etc.)
  • All sorts of allergies, infections and irritations can be calmed, thanks to the cayenne pepper powder
  • An efficient antiseptic for body wounds
  • Capsicum powder makes cancer and other tumor cells to kill each other, according to some studies

The powdered form of cayenne is very useful for both young and elderly people, but its benefits are more visible in the elderly as it has benefits upon the nerves and circulation. It helps veins and capillaries regain the elasticity by feeding the cell structure. It strengthens the pulse by increasing the power. The powder is effective on external wounds, it will stop internal and external bleeding, promote healing and fight against infection.

This spice clears clogged arteries and some studies revealed that it can help heal hemorrhoids and ulcers. Some other recent studies shows that capsaicin, the active ingredient from cayenne has the power to induce cancer cells self-destruction.

Moreover, you can sprinkle some powder on the toothbrush, before brushing, to cure dental issues. It can help you lose weight by boosting your metabolism, and exercise should not miss if you want to see results. It stimulates the digestive tract, increasing gastric juices, relieves intestinal gas and stimulates intestinal peristaltic motion.

It is critical that cayenne come in contact with the tongue because it acts as a metabolic catalyst. You can take it as a tincture or powder, one teaspoon mixed with warm water.

Among the above health benefits, cayenne can be used for diarrhea, toothaches, thyroid problems, pain relief, reduces migraines and fever, and it is an ingredient in ulcer medication and laxatives. Also, it has thermogenic properties being effective in preventing frostbite in cold weather.

Healthy Meal of the Week 12 With Healthy Leftover Idea

Healthy Meal of the Week: Orange Chicken, Brown Rice and Broccoli
Leftover Idea: Orange Chicken Bowl

I was turned on to Panda Express a couple of years ago and I started to occasionally taste the Asian cuisine from time to time. I have to admit my favorite meal to get is orange chicken with beef and broccoli along with brown rice. These two are among the healthier choices available at Panda Express and for those of you that get Chinese food from time to time, I’m sure these two options are most likely offered at your spots.

Funny thing is, to make orange chicken at home, it’s not difficult if you can find the ingredients at your local supermarket. I went after work to my neighborhood Vons to look for the ingredients to make an orange glazed sauce I found on the Internet which uses maple syrup, orange zest, coconut aminos, and a few other items. However since they did not sell orange zest the attendant directed me to an aisle with Asian spices. To my surprise I found a few bottles of orange sauce made by different companies, one even by Panda Express which I really wanted to try, but instead opted for a gluten-free option. We’ll see how it goes.

You’ll find when you combine orange chicken with brown rice and broccoli, you will have a meal that is healthy and one that’s easily portable so you can take with you to lunch for the following day.

Another interesting idea I’m testing today is a pack of “Ready Rice”. This particular brand I purchased by Uncle Ben’s is natural whole grain brown rice that cooks in the microwave in 90 seconds. I know my parents use this option not only to save time but since the rice cooks in its own container, clean up is simply throwing the bag away when it’s empty. No scrubbing, no washing, no dishes to do. We’ll see how this compares to regular brown rice. The only downside to this rice is that a pack which equates to two cups of rice costs $2.29 which is quite steep when you compare that to buying regular rice in the bag.

Equipment Needed
– pan/skillet for cooking chicken
– pot for broccoli
– microwave for ready rice

Ingredients
(6 servings)
– 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
– 1 bag frozen broccoli (or fresh if you prefer)
– 1 bottle Orange Sauce
– 1 bag Whole Grain Brown Ready Rice

seasonings salt, pepper, garlic powder, & 1 tbsp butter

For Leftover Orange Chicken Bowls:
– Plastic travel container

Directions

1. The first and most important component of this meal is the chicken. It also is the part that takes the longest to prepare so let’s take care of that first. You can choose to cut the chicken into small chunks beforehand which will save you cooking time, however it may be more difficult to flip each individual piece every 3-4 minutes of cooking time. I elected to cook the boneless chicken breast whole and cut into chunks afterwards. I did make a length-long slice into the chicken to help it cook quicker, but that still allowed me to flip the piece easily. Don’t forget to add your seasonings you want to include. For this example seasoned salt, pepper, garlic powder, and a sprinkle of oregano was used.

2) While chicken is nearly finished you can boil the water to use for the broccoli pieces. If desired add a tablespoon of butter and a sprinkle of seasoned salt for flavor. Once water is boiling add the broccoli and let boil for 8-10 minutes.

3) Once the chicken is nearly finished cooking, remove from pan and slice into small bite-sized chunks. Once you have all the chicken sliced and diced, place back into the pan and add the orange sauce. Start with a small amount of sauce since it will be easier to add more later if need be. Stir the sauce into the chicken chunks keeping heat on medium/low. Once you have the desired amount of sauce with the chicken pieces allow the mixture to cook/simmer for another 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally.

4) Last but not least, for the Ready Rice bag all that needs to be done is to tear open the side and pull the corner back 2 inches. You don’t even need to add any water. Simply stand the bag erect in the center of your microwave and cook on high for 90 seconds. Surprising as it sounds, the rice came out tasting perfectly not too dry and not too wet.

5) Serve an appropriate portion of rice, broccoli, and orange chicken. If there is sauce leftover in the pan, you may want to pour a couple spoonfuls either on top of the chicken or the rice depending on your preference and how well you like your food flavored. Enjoy!

Leftover Meal Idea: Since you have all the ingredients to make a wonderfully tasting orange chicken bowl, let’s go ahead and do that. What makes this meal so great for lunch is that everything is simply tossed into a plastic travel container so there is literally not one single extra thing you need to do other than microwave it at work if you want. So toss in a scoop of rice along with some broccoli, add some orange glazed chicken and even a spoonful of extra sauce on top, cover and store in your refrigerator until tomorrow.

Is Your Drink Making You Fat?

Is the drink in your hand contributing to the bulge around your middle? Sorry to say, but your favorite wine is definitely doing just that. Any glass of wine contains an equal amount of calories a small chunk of chocolate does, and one pint of larger matches the calories in a pack of salty crisps.

Selling you a drink in a restaurant, bar or club is a part of UK businesses. Almost every food business has alcohol beverages on the menu because an average UK resident consumes over 2000 kcal through alcohol every single month!

The statistics are astounding, having a drink five times a week will provide the drinker with as many as 44,200 kcal over a period of one year – now that’s equal to downing 221 doughnuts! As if drinking were not enough think about the snacks that go along with the beverage! These could be anything on the menu – pork products, salted nuts, finger chips, fish – you name it.

Most drinkers know that a session of heavy drinking will almost always lead to a sumptuous breakfast the next morning. But what has drinking got to do with the calories put on by gorging at breakfast? Dealing with hangovers, that’s what. Most people eat their hangovers away. Choosing fried food in place of the usual bowl of cereal adds as many as 450 kcal to the total number of calories collected the night before.

Many UK businesses work with the Department of Health to conduct health surveys to monitor general public health and wellbeing. The reports are alarming. The National Health Service advises that regular drinkers will not only have to fight the battle of the bulge in a short time but will also suffer many health issues – most of them serious.

A majority of women are blissfully unaware that just a drink or two of regular wine will make them overshoot their daily calorie limit and can account for close to 20 percent (estimated to be 370 kcal) of the number of daily calories recommended by health experts.

Many individuals will flinch at the very idea of consuming a glass full of cream. Yet these same people will not give a second thought to drinking two pints – containing the same number of calories. Either they are confused, ignorant, or don’t really care about counting calories – until they begin to suspect that the toilet scales may be broken! But they still won’t blame it on the drink.

Organic Food for Kids and Its Advantages

Eating healthy and eating right are key pillars of a healthy life; it is essential that we make the right nutritional choices for ourselves and our families. That is why organic foods have been gaining tremendous popularity, primarily because of their clean farming and rearing practices, making them safer for consumption than conventionally produced foods.

They command a premium in the market. However, the advantages they bring to the table more than make up for the price premium. In light of the nutritional requirements of children, organic foods are better and safer for their overall health and development.

1. Organic is a safer bet:

“Organic” refers to produce and ingredients cultivated minus the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, genetically modified organisms, sewage sludge or radiation. In case of animals and livestock that produce meat, eggs or dairy, they are not given antibiotics or growth hormones. In short, organic foods are a great choice for kids, considering their increased susceptibility to the negative effects of chemical and synthetic additives. Switching to organic foods reduces the level of food-driven pesticide ingestion by kids. Moreover, organic food consumption significantly reduces ingestion of chemicals that have been linked to cause certain types of cancer.

2. Reduces your kids’ exposure to harmful hormones:

Prolonged exposure to chemicals and hormones in food, be it in low or high concentrations, can result in damaging effects in children. Typically, non-organic meats are injected with hormones and endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as oestrogen to aid quicker development of the animal. These artificially induced hormones and chemicals can result in early onset of puberty in children, thus hampering their natural development. Organic foods are devoid of any artificial or synthetic additives, thus reducing such risks by a significant margin.

3. Prevents chemical induced neurological disorders:

It has been observed that a switch from conventional foods to an organic diet reduces kids’ exposure levels to organophosphates. These are a group of pesticides that include toxic chemicals such as chlorpyrifos and malathion. These chemicals are known to negatively impact nervous system and hamper nervous system development in children. Switching to a diet consisting of organic food results in a drastic drop in organophosphate levels, thus fostering normal development of the brain and nervous system.

4. A conscious choice to make kids more conscious:

Besides the obvious health advantages that organic foods have on your kids’ health, it is important that children know where their food is coming from. Informing them about the right foods and why organic is right for them creates a consciousness in them towards a healthier meal choice. Moreover, organic farming and rearing practices are ecological and environment friendly. Inculcating eco-friendly practices in children at an early age fosters their appreciation for and acceptance of clean and green practices, thus ensuring that they will opt for organic foods when it comes to them making a choice over what foods they would like to eat.

Organic foods are the right choice for your whole family, if you seek wholesome, safe and chemical free options at your meal table. While they do cost more than conventionally grown foods, they more than compensate it through safety and nutrition. This factor is particularly vital for children, as they are more susceptible to the negative effects and potential dangers that chemical and synthetic additives and hormones present. Going organic is safe, healthy and kid-friendly!

5 Ways to Use Honey in Your Diet

Honey is an extremely versatile food, known worldwide for its numerous health benefits; so versatile is this rich, golden liquid that its usage extends beyond dietary purposes! From food spreads and skin potions to illness remedies and beauty applications, the utilities of honey seem boundless.

Honey possesses hygroscopic, antibacterial, antioxidant and nutritional properties that make it a power food for the whole family. Since honey is an adaptable food, serving multiple purposes, one can include honey in the daily diet in several ways.

1. In your beverages:

Kickstart your day with a tall glass of warm water, two tablespoons of honey and one tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. This honey-water-lemon concoction is known to help aid faster burning of fats, when coupled with an active lifestyle. You can replace sugar and other calorie-heavy sweeteners. Opt for honey in milk, instead of sugar. You can also whip up your very own, healthy power drink to immediately feel refreshed and energized. Mix two cups of water, one-fourth cup of fresh lemon juice, one-eighth teaspoon of salt and two and a half teaspoons of raw honey in a water bottle. Consume as and when needed to rehydrate yourself, instead of consuming unhealthy sports drinks and mixes.

2. As a bread spread:

Using honey as a breakfast or bread spread is a smart and healthier alternative to the sugar-packed conventional bread spreads available in the market. Generously spread honey onto your morning toast for a delicious breakfast; remember to have some fruit portions as well. Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder and apply it on bread as a spread, instead of jams and jellies. You can also make a honey-mustard spread for sandwiches in a trice – just blend one-fourth cup of prepared mustard, one tablespoon of honey and one tablespoon of mayonnaise, and spread the mixture between bread slices. Alternatively, you can use honey as a great dip to go with breakfast rotis or chapatis. A popular way in some rural ways is to dip freshly made Dosas in a mix of honey & ghee.

3. As a salad dressing:

Salads taste great when married with the right dressing! You can use honey to up your salad dressing game, and turn snack time into a delicious, healthy daily routine. Simply add equal parts honey, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil into a jar; add a sprinkling of your favourite herbs and a pinch of salt to taste. Close the jar tightly with a lid and shake thoroughly, or simply use a spoon to mix the contents well. Add a generous portion of the dressing to your salads, instead of using mayonnaise or other calorie-rich salad dressings.

4. As a power snack:

For a quick and nutritious snack, mix your favourite dry fruits, a cup of raw toasted oats, a little warm milk and three tablespoons of honey in a bowl. This muesli-like snack bowl is super-nutritious and packs quite the punch in filling you up; it works perfectly as a light tea-time snack, thus preventing you from binge-eating salty, fried or processed snacks.

5. In your soups:

Honey is an excellent ingredient in soups such as bisques, broths made with carrots, squash, sweet potato of certain fruit, and in soups or curries seasoned with ginger. Just a drizzle of honey works to add more complexity and balance to soups. In case of soups that work on the bitterness angle such as cauliflower or parsnip based soups, honey makes the soup softer on the palate. Spicy soups gain a slightly sweet dimension when honey is added. Moreover, the natural viscosity of honey helps in adding more body and thickness to soups.

Honey works wonderfully in various food preparations, both as an additive and a key ingredient. Experiment with honey by using recipes for whole-cooked meals with honey. But do note that Ayurveda warns against heating honey. If you want to keep it simple, go the easy route and add honey as a table ingredient in your daily meals such as beverages and snacks.

How Chili Will Save Your Life!

What most people seem to believe about chilli peppers is that they are spicy, mouth burning, flavour creators of passion! When you ask, most people say, “it’s just a little spicy red thing”.

It’s pretty obvious chillies are ultimate flavour enhancers. However, most people are unaware that these peppers have amazing, super powered health benefits!

It seems that not only are you able give your food a flavour hit, but it helps you with weight loss. So if you’re keen to “drop a few”, make sure to include chilli peppers into your diet plan! This is a good way to boost your metabolism.

According to studies published in Cancer Research (2006), chillies can actually help lower the risk of prostate cancer. This is due to their ability to kill off cancer cells, while causing no harm to others. Another positive outcome is that as a treatment it shows that chilli peppers also reduce the growth of cancer cells.

Diabetes. A word most unpleasant! However, have no fear the chilli pepper is here! Thanks to compounds within the pepper, they immensely lower your risk of developing diabetes. Wow that’s so amazing!

Looks like it’s time to man up and eat some more chilli. According to random studies, chopped up chillies have the positive health benefits of increasing your immune system’s ability to function. How cool is that? Having some sinus problems? No problem! Get your chilli cayenne pepper out and mix it in with that chicken soup! Instant unblocked nose!

Ever heard of a little vitamin called “Vitamin C”? Of course you have! So has “Chilli”. Did you know that chilli peppers have more than double the amount of vitamin C than a tall glass of good old OJ? In addition, a good amount of vitamins A and B are also found within these little peppers!

A few simple ways to include these little miracle workers into your diet are, blending them into smoothies, having them soak in cooking oil to create chilli oil and to just eat them plain and simple! If you have trouble deciding which chilli is the right one for you. Don’t worry there are heaps to choose from. It’s said that green coloured chillies are not as hot as red and orange ones. Also be sure to keep your eye on the little ones. Yes, they sure are the most hot and furious of them all!

My passion has always been spicy foods. Later on in life I came to the conclusion that chillies were what made me love all foods. Hence forth I have been working hard to create information and value for people who don’t know about the amazing powers of chilli peppers.

Tips for a Healthier Heart

It is clear as crystal – your diet has a profound effect on your physical and mental health. When combined with a regular physical exercise routine, adequate sleep and minimal-stress lifestyle, you pave way towards a long and healthy life!

In terms of cardiovascular health, it is a well-known fact that a healthy diet comprising of certain heart-friendly foods work wonders to keep heart diseases at bay. With cardiovascular diseases being the numero uno killer of men and women globally, it is important to maintain a healthy heart by consuming foods that help lower cholesterol levels, control blood pressure and blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy body weight. Here are a few heart-healthy diet tips that work towards preventing heart diseases.

1. Control your portion size

Eating right begins with eating the right size! Stuffing yourself with food is a sure way to add unwanted calories. Try using a small plate to control your portion size. Incorporate larger portions of fruits and vegetables, while lowering the portions of processed foods. It is a good idea to track the number of portions or servings that you consume. For starters, use a measuring cup, spoon or scale to track the size and weight of your servings.

2. Reduce unhealthy fats

Saturated and trans fats increase the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol – Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) – in your body, thereby increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Work towards limiting or entirely cutting out trans fats from your diet. Limit your consumption of processed or packaged foods such as chips and cookies. Replace solid fats such as butter and hydrogenated margarine with liquid vegetable oils such as olive oil or sunflower oil. You can also swap whole milk with low fat or skimmed milk.

3. Incorporate healthy fats

Not all fats are bad for you! Omega 3 fatty acids, Omega 6 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats work towards increasing HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol levels that are good for the heart. Fatty fish such as salmon, trout and herring are rich sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. Vegetable oils and soy nuts are great sources of Omega 6 fatty acids, while peanuts, pecans, almonds, cashews and avocados are good sources of monounsaturated fats. A simple way to add healthy fat to your diet is to grind flaxseed and add it to cereals, breakfast mixes or any baked foods. However, the key is moderation; all types of fats have a high calorie count.

4. Consume low-fat proteins

Lean meats such as poultry and fish, eggs and low-fat dairy products such as skimmed milk are excellent sources of low-fat protein. As previously mentioned, fatty fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel are rich sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. Alternatively, you can consume flaxseed, canola oil, walnuts and soybeans for vegetarian sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. You can completely substitute animal protein for plant protein by using legumes such as beans, lentils and peas. These are good sources of protein, contain less fat and no cholesterol.

5. Indulge in fruits and vegetables

Besides being super-rich sources of dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables are low on calories and may curb your pangs for high-fat foods such as processed foods and snacks. Always keep a bowl of fruit or a box of cut vegetables handy in the refrigerator for some healthy snacking, or to whip up a fresh salad! Incorporate vegetables, especially leafy vegetables, into your cooking. Add legumes such as beans, lentils and beans to your diet. Carrots, tomatoes and celery are rich in insoluble fibre while berries, citrus fruits, beans, nuts, apples and pears are rich in soluble fibre. Both types of fibre are heart-healthy.

6. Be a fan of whole grains!

Whole grains are rich sources of fibre and other vital nutrients that help in regulating blood pressure, thereby maintaining a healthy heart. Substitute white rice and refined flour products such as white bread, biscuits and so on with whole wheat flour, whole grain bread, oatmeal, high-fibre cereals, and whole grains such as brown rice.

7. Reduce your sodium intake

High sodium levels can increase your blood pressure, thereby increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Limit your sodium intake by reducing the amount of salt and salty foods in your diet. Avoid foods and condiments with high sodium content such as table salt, canned soups and foods, soy sauce and tomato juice. Replace them with herbs and spices, low sodium labelled foods and sauces and salt substitutes.

Besides following a heart-healthy diet, it is important to lead a stress-free life, combined with adequate physical activity and regulated sleep to keep your body energised, your mind fresh and your heart ever-healthy!