Did you know that what you eat and when you eat can have a significant impact on the heart health? The heart is a vital body organ, and a poor diet comprising of a high content of sugars and fats can be detrimental to its health. These type of food when consumed frequently and in large intakes contribute to weight gain and high blood pressure. All of these are risk factors for chronic and heart diseases.
A Heart Health Focused Diet
A balanced and healthy diet should include proteins (lean meat, fish, dairy products), unsaturated fats, healthy carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables. Since keeping track of what to eat can be a bit tricky at times, especially when you do not have many options in your immediate surroundings, you can use some of the basic principles of healthy eating. These include the following:
- Eating regular meals
- Reducing intake of saturated fats
- Making vegetables and fruits part of your daily meals
- Cutting down on high-sugar foods and drinks
- Reducing salt intake
- Moderating your level of alcohol intake
You can maximize the potential health of your heart and body by eating the right foods. However, according to health research, the most successful way lies in the timing of meals. Timely planning of your meals helps you to keep track of blood sugar level, keep your weight in check, and fuels your body for the day’s activities which in essence, is when the body needs much energy. Recently, an increased number of studies have shown that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Adelle Davis, a Nutritionist in the 1960s even popularized the dieting mantra, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.”
A good meal in the morning can help your body prepare for the day to come and decreases your chances of suffering from heart diseases, diabetes, and obesity. Breakfast provides you with the energy you need to run the day after an overnight fast, the more reason not to skip it. The best breakfast should include something that is whole grain and has some fat and protein in it. This will make your blood sugar level to rise slowly and go down slowly. Eating something refined and very sweet will cause an insulin surge, and then your blood sugar drops too low, so you get hungry again. This is what leads to eating junk food in between the day and eventually leads to obesity.
Lunch can consist of a relatively large meal since your body still needs the fuel to get through the rest of the day. According to research, the best time for you to have your lunch is between 12.30pm and 1.30pm, and should primarily consist of salads and vegetables but light in calories.
In the evening the best time is between 6 pm and 7 pm and anytime later than this is wrong especially if you want to lose weight. Dinner should be taken at least 3 hours before you go to bed to give calories some time to burn because in the evening is when most calories most likely turn to fat due to less activity. Eating late will raise your insulin which interferes with your natural sleeping pattern.
Find What Works For You
There is no precise formula for eating healthy that could apply to everyone, but you can supplement the tracking of what and when you eat with some exercise to ensure that you maintain a healthy weight and avoid illnesses. Remember that your mental state and emotional health can also affect your heart health so keeping these balanced will help you live a healthy and illness-free life.