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The Good, The Bad and The Tasty: Fabulous Foods For Your Heart and Health

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

With so many food and food substitute choices out there these days, not to mention continually conflicting reports, it’s become quite confusing to discern between the good, the bad, and the tasty. Yet experts affirm that the best “diet” is a healthy one full of some of smart food choices, and you just may be surprised to find how many of your favorites you no longer have to feel guilty about enjoying. According to experts you’re never too young (or too old) to start living healthy and eating right. And they note that by watching what you eat, you’re not only improving your waistline but also not wasting your lifeline and are increasing your potential to live well into and past your eighties.

· The NUTS and bolts of healthy snacking: We all presume that snacking is “bad” for you. Well, according to health officials, that all depends on what we are snacking on. One of the smartest (and heart healthiest) snacks you can “indulge” in is nut…in fact, experts suggest going nuts with yourself on a daily basis. While nuts have been maligned for their high fat content, it turns out that they contain some of the most essential heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and remain low in saturated fat. In fact, research revealed that those whose diets where high in healthy fats had lower levels of bad cholesterol. However, experts suggest snacking smart by limiting your daily intake if you are watching your weight.

· Health By Chocolate: That’s right ladies; chocolate has just joined the ranks of guilt-free foods. According to researchers chocolate is another heart smart snack. It contains flavinoids, chemicals that thin the blood and assist in the prevention of clotting. Furthermore, cocoa has been found to contain healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants that help fight disease. The darker the chocolate the better. Experts note that darker varieties are closer in content to pure cocoa, and they emphasize that moderation is vital.

· Fish Tales: Seafood, especially fish is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, one of the most crucial ingredients of a healthy diet. Among the most advantageous sources are salmon, tuna, mackerel, and herring. As per recent research these essential components are instrumental in reducing the risk of abnormal heart rhythms and the bonding of blood cells, making them less likely to clot, and block arteries.

Experts suggest that Omega-3s may be especially beneficial for those already at risk for heart disease, as well as for those who’ve already had a heart attack. In fact, recent studies show that heart attack survivors, who enjoy a diet high in Omega-3 fatty acids from fish, demonstrated a substantially lower risk of experiencing another heart attack. They recommend at least two servings of fish per week or supplements as prescribed or okayed by your doctor and nutritionist.

· Oat Couture: We’ve all heard the kids rhyme that lambs eat oats and doe(s) eat oats, and now professionals say, so should you. According to experts, oats are low in saturated fat and high in soluble fiber, a combination that helps reduce cholesterol. Nutrition aficionados assert that a mere three grams of fiber from oats daily may significantly lower the risk of heart disease.

· Drink To Your Health: All along you were taught that it was an apple a day that kept the doctor away, but according to recent research, it seems a mild cocktail has similar benefits. Experts note that a cocktail a day my be heart healthy, but suggest limiting the strength of the alcohol you indulge in, consulting with your physician, and limiting your intake to no more than three times a week.

Long Island Health, Fitness & Beauty Articles > The Good, The Bad and The Tasty: Fabulous Foods For Your Heart and Health

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