You may be a hopeless romantic, but don’t allow your Heart Health to be the same. Don’t worry, if you don’t have a Valentine this February 14th, let GourmetFuel be your Sweetheart.

These 14 tips for a more healthy heart is our gift to you:

  • Eat less Salt: The guidelines for salt intake for adults is no more than 6gs of salt a day, 3gs for a child!  If you’ve high blood pressure you really need to keep under this number as it can exacerbate it or  even worse lead to Coronary Heart Disease. Reduce the salt at the dinner table and limit processed foods which typically use salt as a flavouring and preservative. One slice of wholemeal bread can give you 0.4g salt so you can see how quickly it all adds up!

  • Eat 2 portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily (e.g. Mackerel). Oily Fish is loaded with heart healthy Poly-unsaturated omega 3, so eat up! Have you checked out our Pescatarian Meal Plan yet?

  • If Fish isn’t your thing, get your Omega 3 from Flaxseed, Walnuts, or leafy green veg such as broccoli.

  • Know your fats: Certain fats should be limited such as Saturated fats (Red Meat, butter) and Trans fats (fast food, processed food). Polyunsaturated fats (nuts, seeds, rapeseed oils) and Monounsaturated fats (Avocado, olive oil) are a better option. Our Raw Energy Nut Bar and our Chickpea cookie are perfect snacks for a healthy heart!

  • Limit Red and processed Meat Consumption: Red meat and processed meat such as sausages or salami can contain high levels of saturated fat which is linked to higher blood lipid levels, which can be harmful to our hearts, and cause heart related diseases.

  • Eat more Wholegrains: The trend in Gluten free/Low carb diets has seen a decrease in overall consumption of wholegrains, which are crucial for a healthy heart. Dietary Fibre from wholegrains may help lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight negatively affects your cholesterol levels, so speak to one of our Nutritionists if you need some help with weight management.

  • Fibre is your friend: Eating fibre rich foods such as wholegrains, fruit, vegetables and pulses help lower heart disease risk. Soluble fibre decreases LDL (the bad cholesterol ) in the blood.

  • Moving towards a plant-based diet rich in pulses, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds can improve heart health by decreasing the saturated fat in your diet. Don’t worry, you don’t need to need to commit to Veganism just yet, but including some more plant-based protein sources in your diet such as lentils and soya products will be a heart healthy head start! Our Meat Free Meal Plan might be an idea?

  • Soya: once regarded as just for those avoiding meat, has grown in popularity recently for it’s health boosting properties. Recent research has suggested that eating just 15 grams of soya a day (equivalent of a glass of soya milk and a handful of edamame beans) can boost heart health.

  • Avoid the over consumption of ‘healthy’ foods: Even though in small amounts, foods such as coconut oil and dairy have great health benefits, too much of anything can be counterproductive. Enjoy a varied, balanced diet instead.

  • Oats: are such a great addition to a heart healthy diet, due to containing a type of soluble fibre called ‘Beta- Glucan’, which has been shown to lower cholesterol, and in turn, lowers your chances of developing heart problems. Porridge for breakfast is a simple way of adding more Beta -Glucan to your diet.

  • Plant Stanols and Sterols: reduce the amount of cholesterol our bodies can absorb. Food fortified with Sterols and Stanols can be found in every supermarket, and they include butter spreads, yoghurt drinks and milks.

  • Don’t rely on just good Nutrition: Exercise, Smoking, Stress, Alcohol intake, along with other factors influence Heart health, but Good nutrition will give you a head start!

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Katie Kavanagh

Katie Kavanagh

Katie is a registered Associate Nutritionist with the UKVRN through the Association for Nutrition. Katie completed her Masters degree in Clinical Nutrition and Health in Glasgow Caledonian University and her Bachelors Degree in UCD in Health and Performance Science. Before joining the team at GourmetFuel, she worked in a kitchen catering company, and for Our Lady’s Hospice Harolds Cross and is heavily involved with UCD Boxing Club. Her areas of interest are Vegetarian diets, disease prevention and Sports Nutrition.
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