Planning Your Way to a Heart-Healthy Diet

This Heart Month, we are all a little more aware of ways we can help our heart stay healthy.  And one of the best ways, according to the American Heart Association, is by eating the right foods.
Have you ever heard, “You are what you eat”?  Well, it may be truer than you know.  Just by eating the right foods, you can reduce the risk of heart conditions, and all of the medications and doctor visits that follow.
But before you can make any big diet-change plans, you need to know what you are eating now.  The best way to do that is to create a food diary.  In this food diary, list everything you eat for at least a week.  You may start to see trends or notice that you are eating more calories than you actually thought.  You may see that you overeat when you are worried or eat too little when you are upset.  To make a plan you can stick to, you need to know your eating motivations.
From there you can start to form a plan.  But you may want to get a little help first.  If you’re not sure how much fiber someone your age and size should get, or how much sugar is really too much, it’s time to consult a professional.  Through your doctor you can connect with a dietitian or nutritionist who can create an individualized food plan that will work for you.
From there, you can begin to make healthy changes in your diet.  But start small!  Setting yourself up for success can keep you motivated to stick to it.  A simple change would to be substituting heart-healthy olive oil for butter in your cooking.  This small change can mean a big difference in your health.  Once you’ve showed yourself that small changes are easy, you can add another, such as substituting whole-grain bread for white.  Soon, you will build yourself a healthy, achievable diet.
And while you make these changes to keep your heart healthy, don’t get discouraged by one or two mistakes.  One big meal out with friends doesn’t mean you have to throw your new healthy diet out the window.  Give yourself a break and then get back on track.  And before you know it, you’ll be on the track to heart-health once again.
Freedom Home Care provides advanced in-home senior care with a variety of services to ensure that seniors are able to live independent and healthy lives while in the comfort of their own home. Call us today and see how we can help!