A healthy breakfast has many benefits. Not only does it help in reducing weight, it also keeps your heart healthy. Many researches conclude that skipping breakfast predisposes an individual to have elevated cholesterol and insulin levels, and also a bigger waist size. These are directly related to the heart health and increase the risk of heart diseases. Eating breakfast will not just keep you full till midday but it also helps in maintaining good concentration and mood.
Healthy Start To Heart Healthy
To have a healthy life, start your day with a wholesome breakfast. A healthy breakfast should be wholly nutritious consisting of carbohydrate, protein and fiber. Here goes a list of things to remember when planning your breakfast:
Adhere to the Portion Size: A portion is a measurement defined by using cups, spoons, or ounce. Often what we eat is more than what is actually required by the body making us more stuffed and thus increasing the risks of higher levels of cholesterol and heart diseases. A portion size is smaller than what makes you full.
Include Fruits and Vegetables: Eating fruits and vegetables in the first meal of the day gives your body a good boost with loads of vitamins minerals and fibers. These are also low in calorie content thus enabling less fat deposition and in turn prevent cardiovascular diseases. Things to eat are fruits and vegetables that are either fresh or frozen, vegetables which have lower sodium content, in case you want to buy canned fruits, go for the ones with packed juices or water rather than those packed syrup. Fruits and vegetables that should be avoided are fried foods, fruits with added sugar.
Say No To Refined Flour: Refined foods are easy to digest and help in accumulating fats in the body. Rather go for whole-grains which have higher fiber and other essential nutrients and keep your body fit. One of the easiest whole grains to add to your breakfast is flaxseed. Either add some seeds to the cereal bowl to add an extra crunch or grind it to powder and in your curd, yoghurt or pudding. Try opting for whole-wheat flour instead of refined ones, whole-grain bread rather than white bread, whole-grains like brown rice and barley, cereals, oatmeal, whole-grain pasta but avoid biscuits, doughnuts, cakes, muffins, pies, corn breads, buttered popcorns and egg noodles.
Fats & Cardiovascular Health: Not all fats are bad for health. Saturated and trans fats found in packed foods and solid fats like margarine, butter and cheese are not good for the cardiovascular health. It often leads to atherosclerosis. However, monosaturated fats and Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids are very good for health. Monosaturated fats are found in nuts like almonds, peanuts, cashew, and walnuts and even in avocados. Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids are found in fishes, flaxseeds, and also walnuts and vegetable oils and seeds respectively.
Check Out The Food Labels: Before adding stuffs to your basket, take a look at the labels as even food packets mentioning “low cholesterol” or “low fat” might contain a good deal of it.
Change the Snack Habit: If you have a habit of eating a few chips, try opting for a fruit instead which will give you some nutrients instead of just the fats.
Protein: Try out some lean protein in the breakfast. A small piece of lean meat in the sandwich, or an egg, or some dairy products. Legumes like lentils, beans or peas are rich sources of protein and can be a great substitute for meat or fish in the breakfast.
Mediterranean Style Breakfast For Heart Health
While you think about a breakfast for a healthy heart, give a thought to the Mediterranean style of diet. Mediterranean diet has been proved to be good for the heart health. Many researchers attribute the reduced death risk due to heart diseases and cancer to the Mediterranean diet. This type of diet regime is also known to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Few tips on Mediterranean diet are as follows:
- Depending more on plant foods like fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, whole grains
- Using canola, olive or vegetable oil instead of butter
- Replacing salt with natural herbs and spices
- Fish and poultry to be taken for a minimum of two days in a week
- Restricting red meat
- Intake of red wine daily (5 ounces for women and elderly men above the age of 65, and 10 ounces for young and middle aged men).
Few Items To Consider Buying
Heart healthy diet is not only about having the same food again and again. Try varieties of fruits, vegetables and grains or else you might get bored and start skipping the diet plan after a few days. Go for different recipes or try making some twist on your own. Apart from the fresh and frozen fruits and vegetable and whole grains here are a few heart healthy things you might get for yourself: yoghurt, nuts and raisins, salmon, chocolates, popcorn (without butter), green tea, and soy including tofu.
Before going to pick the things up in the market make a list that you want which prevents from missing out on things and also from buying the packed foods that might taste good but are enemies for your heart. Going green, red and yellow will keep you and your family healthy.