You already know that what you eat affects your overall health. But do your food choices affect specific parts of your body?
As you zoom in on key areas — like your heart or immune system — it becomes clear how diet impacts their health and ability to perform for your body. That’s particularly true of your cardiovascular system.
As an internal medicine specialist, Dr. Peymon Zarreii can help you learn more about how your diet impacts your heart health and how your food choices can help you avoid issues like high blood pressure. If you want a daily way to support your cardiovascular system, don’t hesitate to visit our team at Zarreii Medical and Aesthetics in Delray Beach, Florida.
Why food matters
When it comes to a healthy heart, what you don’t eat matters as much as what you do. Specific foods can make it harder for your heart to function. Be wary of fat and salt.
Your body needs both fat and sodium to function. But there’s a limit to how much you should consume.
A diet that’s too high in sodium heightens your risk for hypertension or high blood pressure. When the pressure inside your blood vessels is too high, it increases your risk for a broad range of heart health issues, including:
- Artery damage
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart failure
When it comes to fat, it’s about the type you choose just as much as the amount you consume. Healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids can actually boost your heart health. But eating a lot of trans and saturated fats increases your risk of heart disease. Packaged foods are notorious for these bad fats, so start checking labels before diving in.
Making heart-healthy food choices
To protect your heart and help it function its best:
- Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Choose whole grains over processed ones (e.g., whole wheat over white bread)
- Get plenty of fiber
- Opt for low-fat protein sources like poultry, fish, eggs, and beans
- Monitor your sodium intake
- Steer clear of saturated and trans fats
Choosing heart-healthy foods starts in the grocery store. Fortunately, the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion has some recommendations for your shopping list. You can use their guide to create a grocery list that promotes your cardiovascular health.
For another resource there, you can also look for the American Heart Association (AHA)’s Heart-Check Certification seal on food packaging.
When you’re ordering at a restaurant, the AHA also has some tips to help.
All of this said, you don’t have to figure out how to adopt a heart-healthy diet on your own. For personalized guidance and recommendations based on your unique food preferences, schedule an appointment with Dr. Zarreii. To get started, contact us by calling our office or booking your visit online today.