One of the most important factors of cardiovascular health is good nutrition. A number of other components are involved as well, including factors, which include such good health traits as optimal blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and fasting blood-glucose levels. Behaviors are another component, which include the things that we do in our everyday lives, such as our diets, exercise habits, and other habits, such as smoking or drinking.
Promoting a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle
At one time, physicians and other health professionals concentrated on the conditions themselves, and not the underlying causes. These days, doctors have a much better understanding about the role that a healthy, well-balanced diet and lifestyle play in heart health. This is a theory that has been adopted by the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Association, and the American Diabetic Association.
One of the most harmful substances we can put in our bodies is nicotine. Cigarettes can cause any number of problematic health conditions, from heart disease to lung cancer. Adults who smoke need to do whatever it takes to quit as soon as they are able, because it is possible for some of the adverse health effects of smoking to be reversed. Lung function returns to a normal level very soon after quitting smoking and the chances of developing heart and lung diseases is greatly reduced.
Adult smokers should never smoke around children. Second-hand smoke is proven to be more harmful than if a person smokes themselves. And, children who come from households with smokers have a greater tendency to become smokers themselves. The easiest way for children to kick the habit of smoking is to never begin in the first place.
Your BMI (Body Mass Index) plays a large role in heart health, and there are a number of lifestyle changes you can make to ensure that your BMI is ideal. Don’t bother with fad diets. They don’t work, and you are often left feeling hungry, because you are not getting the proper nutrients. Instead, opt for healthy eating habits and a well-balanced diet. Of course, physical activity is always recommended, not only for heart health, but for overall physical fitness. Children should be encouraged to get out and get active, and be taught how to eat healthy as well.
Enjoy A Healthy, Well-Balanced Diet For Heart Health
There are three macronutrients we need in order to maintain healthy diets, protein, carbohydrates, and fats. There are a number of excellent food sources of protein, especially animal foods, such as lean red meat, fish, and poultry. Nuts, grains, beans, and milk product are all excellent sources of dietary protein as well. According to studies from the American Heart Association, we should be getting 35% of our daily caloric intake from proteins.
Protein Supplements When Your Diet Just Isn’t Enough
If you are not getting enough of the right proteins in your diet, you can get the nutrients you are lacking with protein supplements. There are many different types of protein supplements, from powder to liquid, to capsule, and optimally, the ones you choose will not contain additional sugar and fats. Some of the most popular proteins used in today’s protein supplements include whey, casein, egg, soy, and rice.
- Whey: This is one of the most accessible, inexpensive, and popular forms of protein supplement available. This also comes from milk, and is a bi-product of the cheese-making process. It is also found naturally in other foods, including chicken, fish, and beef. Whey digests quickly, and may also help to improve blood pressure and blood vessel functions. This is not recommended for those who are lactose intolerant.
- Casein: Although it takes much longer to digest than whey, the effects of casein last longer. Although it does not mix as easily as whey, it is available in a number of flavored shakes. It is a bit more expensive than whey, and must be avoided by those who are lactose intolerant.
- Egg Protein: Also known as egg albumin, this comes from egg whites, and can be found in a powdered form. You will find this as an ingredient in many supplements, and it begins acting within one to three hours of ingesting it. This is good for people who can’t tolerate milk products, but not for those with allergies to eggs or chicken. Egg proteins are made from mostly natural ingredients.
- Soy Protein: If you have egg or chicken allergies, are lactose intolerant, or a vegetarian, soy protein is the protein supplement choice for you. It contains no cholesterol or saturated fats, and is considered to be a complete protein, because it contains all of the essential amino acids. Like eggs, soy products are made from natural ingredients.
- Rice Protein: This is also a good source of proteins for vegetarians and people with allergies or lactose intolerant. It is gluten-free, and is low-carb, low-fat, low-cal, so it is ideal for diets. Powdered rice protein is great in shakes and smoothies, sprinkled on certain foods, or added into recipes for added nutrition.
- Profect Supplement: Small, nutritious and portable, Profect from Protica is ideal for controlling blood glucose levels, as well as the appetite. This is a small serving, only 2.9 fluid ounces, but it packs a punch with 25 grams of protein per serving.
Fats And Carbs
Contrary to popular belief, we do need a limited amount of fats and carbohydrates in our diets. In fact, carbohydrates should be the greatest part of our diets, and we can get healthy carbohydrates by eating such tasty foods as whole grain breads and pastas and fruits and vegetables. Limit, or even avoid, simple carbohydrates. And, in addition to carbohydrates, fats should account for about 20% of our daily caloric intake, and we can get them from such sources as olive oil and fatty fish (but not deep fried).