COVID-19: Find information on how we’re keeping you safe here.
One of the three pillars of keeping your heart healthy us eating in ways that prevent inflammation in your blood vessels, support a healthy body weight, and maintain cardiovascular health. This involves learning the importance of what, when and how you wat and upending common myths about which foods are bad for your heart.
Choose to eat fewer carbohydrates and sugars
Adopting a low-GI diet may be enough to stabilize your blood-sugar levels, reduce insulin resistance, help you lose weight and improve your heart’s health. If this is not enough, I-SatPro may be right for you. Wearing a continuous, real-time blood-glucose monitoring device can help you identify your personal GI index and develop a diet of foods that you enjoy and that lead to lower increases in your blood-glucose levels.
Consider time-restricted eating
Aim to have your meals within a 12-hour maxiumum window each day: for example, first food at 8am and no food after 8pm. Gradually reduce this window to eleven, then nine, then eight hours, if you are able to. This intermittent fasting will allow your body to spend more of its time in a low-glucose, low-insulin state, with benefits including weight loss as well as less inflammation. It can be particularly powerful tool for people with a genetic predisposition to craving sugary foods.
Don’t be afraid of fat – but stick to natural fats, avoiding synthetic trans fats
Avoid low-fat versions of foods, which often contain hidden carbohydrates or other ingredients that will spike your blood-sugar levels. Get protein from nuts, seeds, soy, or fish, all of which are rich in healthy fats. This combination of protein and fat protects the heart. Aim to keep portion sizes of protein to about the size of a deck of cards.
Clean out your fridge and kitchen cupboards
Avoid all processed and prepared foods containing ingredients that you may not be able to assess. If there are any ingredients on the label that you do not understand, throw the food in the bin (and do not buy it, going forward). Skip most condiments if you eat out – although mayonnaise is often okay.
Reset your satiety level to 80%
We tend to eat more than we need because meals are a social habit – a time to enjoy the pleasure of food and drink, as well as the company of family and friends. Draw your attention to what your gut is telling you and stop eating sooner. The conversation over your meal can continue after you’ve put your utensils down.
Dr Boon Lim, Consultant Cardiologist at OneWelbeck Heart Health, has released a book as part of the Penguin Life Experts series. In this concise guide, Dr Lim shares his advice for achieving optimum heart health, from hypertension, cholesterol and inherited cardiac conditions, to chest pain, fainting and stress. You can purchase the book on Amazon. Click here to be taken through to Amazon.co.uk.