If you want to live a healthier life, the first step is a hearty diet. No matter how much exercise you think you get, your diet needs to improve if you hope to maintain the health of your heart. The term “hearty meal” may sound confusing for some, as it used to refer to large and satisfying meals. This article will help you understand what the term means in 2021.
Defining a “Hearty” Meal
A hearty meal, in general, means eating the right food in the right amount so your heart can stay as healthy as possible. To understand the concept clearer, here are some of its characteristics:
1: Eat Foods Rich in Fiber
A diet that lacks fiber can have a damaging effect on one’s health. It can result in constipation; if experienced regularly, constipation can cause toxins that need to be flushed out to leech back into the body. When the toxins you cannot eliminate enter your bloodstream, it can result in health issues.
Besides preventing and relieving constipation, fiber also encourages healthy gut microbiota. These good bacteria can reduce inflammation in your body, which benefits the cardiovascular system too.
2: Fat Is Not an Enemy
Most healthy diets are designed around the false notion that fat is the greatest enemy of a healthy body. However, the truth is that fats are essential too. To have a balanced diet, you need to have a small amount of fat. It is a unique source of essential fatty acids that the body needs. Moreover, the fat helps the body absorb other vitamins easily.
The most important thing is to make sure there is moderation in fat intake. Anything in excess can be dangerous to one’s health. Getting too much fat can increase cholesterol production, which could lead to blockages in the arteries. The American Health Association recommends having only 5–5% of calories from saturated fat in your diet.
3: Be Mindful of Your Sodium Intake
Sodium is an essential mineral that the body needs. However, it is also one of the minerals that Americans often consume more than recommended. Too much sodium can cause water retention. It could lead to a high flow in arterial vessels, affecting the body’s blood pressure. When there is an increase in blood pressure, the heart needs to work harder to provide enough blood throughout the body. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 2,300 mg of sodium as the maximum amount you can consume in a day.
4: The Content Is Important But Consistency Matters Too
Carefully choosing the food you eat is essential for avoiding cardiovascular risks like heart attacks and strokes. That means knowing what food to avoid and what food to eat more of. To make sure your meals are healthy, aim for at least four to six servings of vegetables and fruits every day.
But staying healthy is much more than diet alone. Besides knowing the dos and don’ts in food, it is also crucial to keep a healthy lifestyle. For example, staying physically active can keep heart problems away. Regular exercise keeps the blood vessels pliable. Therefore, they can reduce any possibility of inflammation and arterial blockage.
What you put in your body can affect every organ’s functions. The heart is one of the most vital and hardworking parts of the body, and you must do what you can to make sure it gets the proper care it deserves. Start by implementing these four reminders to live a conscious and healthy lifestyle.
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