Whether you’re considering plant-based diet options for health reasons, or to have a lighter footprint on our environment or “just because” you want to eat foods that don’t come from animals, it’s simple to make the swap in a few small steps that will have a big impact.
If you want to improve your overall health and protect your heart, simple changes in your lifestyle and diet can make a big impact. For these changes to stick, you should focus on adding more healthful foods, rather than just taking things out of your daily diet and routine. Here's 5 ways to make that happen!
(BPT) - Your heart is one of the most important organs in your body. It provides your body with the necessary oxygen and nutrients vital for daily survival. If you want to improve your overall health and protect your heart, simple changes in your lifestyle and diet can make a big impact.
For these changes to stick, focus on adding more healthful foods, rather than just taking things out of your daily diet and routine.
1. Add more seafood
Seafood is not only a good source of protein, but also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. The Seafood Nutrition Partnership, citing the American Heart Association, advises eating at least two servings of seafood per week for enough omega-3s and nutrients to show improved health. In particular, fatty fish such as salmon, trout, pollock, barramundi, mackerel, herring, sardines and albacore tuna have the highest amounts of the heart-healthy nutrients that help prevent cardiovascular disease.
To incorporate more fish into your diet, start with the recipe for Easy Lemon Pepper Salmon from The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
When selecting fish, whether fresh, frozen or canned, look for the MSC blue fish label to know you’re choosing sustainable seafood that’s good for you and good for the ocean. The MSC is a global nonprofit dedicated to protecting wild seafood for generations to come. By taking the simple step to look for the MSC label when purchasing seafood, you can help protect oceans from overfishing, support fishermen and fishing communities, and promote traceability — from the ocean to your delicious seafood dish.
2. Seek healthy fats
Not all fats are created equal. With all the fad diets that come and go, the Mediterranean diet continues to top media and nutritionists' lists of best plans for healthy eating. It's also been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The most commonly used fat in the Mediterranean diet is olive oil, which is great for cooking, salad dressings and more. Other healthy fats come from the foods themselves, like the unsaturated fats found in fish, nuts, seeds or avocados.
The Mediterranean approach is also plant-based, adding proteins like fish, lean meat, poultry and dairy (in moderation).
3. Opt for whole grains
Also featured in the Mediterranean plan are whole grains like brown rice, wild rice, whole wheat bread, oats and quinoa. Less-processed grains are healthier because they have both higher nutritional value and better fiber content.
The nutrients in many whole grains — including potassium, iron, phosphorus and more — help boost your heart health. The higher fiber in whole grains aids digestion and can help you keep your weight down, which can also improve your heart's function.
4. Focus on plants
You've probably heard a lot about plant-based eating recently. That's because of the growing awareness of both the health and the environmental benefits of focusing a larger portion of your diet on plants. Including a wider range of differently colored fruits and vegetables — plus nuts, seeds, beans and legumes — will give you the greatest nutritional benefits.
Plants offer tons of nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fiber — and many contain more protein than you might expect. A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that eating more plant-based proteins is associated with lower heart disease risk in middle-aged adults.
5. Amp up your movement
Another vital ingredient in a heart-healthy lifestyle is exercise. Adding more daily movement helps you look and feel better, inside and out. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, plus muscle-strengthening exercises at least twice a week. It's always best to consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise plan.
Choosing whole foods over processed foods will improve your heart health. Using herbs and spices can also make your meal plan easier to stick to. Not only do some seasonings — like ginger, garlic and turmeric — offer positive health benefits, but they can also reduce unhealthy cravings by satisfying your taste buds.
What’s good for your heart also can be good for the environment. When you make looking for sustainably-sourced, heart-healthy products part of your routine, you create a win-win for your health and for the health of the planet.
There is hope! Consider these tips for joining a program that includes personalized, one-on-one support to help you achieve sustainable weight loss and improve health and longevity.
Cutting Through ‘Wellness Confusion’ to Find Real Weight Loss
(Family Features) The secret is out – Americans are no longer in the dark about healthy eating.
A report commissioned by Jenny Craig revealed 92 percent of people believe they know the right foods to eat. However, despite increased awareness, more than half of Americans admit they make poor food choices daily.
One challenge in Americans’ struggle to lose weight is the growing use of the term “wellness,” with nearly half of Americans reporting they find the term confusing, according to the survey.
Another common obstacle is the time required to plan and prepare healthy meals. The survey found that nearly three in five people spend 7-14 hours or more each week planning and preparing meals, and 9 out of 10 believe having healthy, prepared meals would help them reach their weight-related goals.
Fortunately, for the two-thirds of Americans actively looking to lose weight, there are proven, science-based programs available that are convenient, easy to follow and avoid confusing buzzwords.
“Having a practical, science-based nutrition plan as well as ongoing support increases the chance of success for people on their weight loss journey," said Dr. Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, chair of the Jenny Craig Science Advisory Board. "Since many people have limited time, a program that provides premium, portion-controlled meals can also help reduce the stress and confusion around healthy eating.”
Dr. Peeke offers these simple tips when joining a program that includes personalized, one-on-one support to help you achieve sustainable weight loss and improve health and longevity.
Eat with the sun. Following a healthy meal plan is important, but some people don’t realize that when you eat can be just as important as what you eat. Nobel Prize-winning research from 2017 discovered that every cell in the body has a biological clock that follows a daily 24-hour cycle – a natural circadian rhythm of light and dark that matches the body’s natural awake and sleep patterns. Following your circadian rhythm and feeding your body when your metabolism is most active (12 hours during the day) and giving it a digestion break when it needs to rejuvenate (12 hours at night) is known as time-restricted feeding and can optimize metabolism and weight loss, according to two studies, one published in 2017 in “Cell Metabolism” and another published in 2016 in “Ageing Research Reviews.” This innovative approach and rejuvenation period can also deliver several potential health benefits, including improved immune function and reduction in belly fat, which may decrease obesity and the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a 2014 study published in “Cell Metabolism.”
Healthy, prepared meals are trending. When you’re already hungry and have limited time to spare, it can be easy to turn to something quick and, often, unhealthy. Having nutritious, portion-controlled food options on-hand can help you stay on track. Programs such as Jenny Craig offer nutritionally balanced menus that can be delivered right to your door with more than 100 dietitian- and chef-crafted entrees, desserts and snacks made with no artificial ingredients.
Find your support system. A 2018 study published in the “Journal of the American Medical Association” discovered that individuals following structured weight loss programs with support were more likely to lose weight and keep it off than those who did not. Look for a program, like Jenny Craig, that offers personalized, one-on-one support from a trained weight loss consultant who provides weekly coaching, education and encouragement throughout your journey.
To learn more, visit JennyCraig.com .
The survey was conducted on behalf of Jenny Craig by Branded Research Inc. on Oct.19-25, 2018 among 601 adults in the U.S.SOURCE:
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