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Heart Healthy Nutrition tips

Most of my blog posts so far have been nutrition based but march is nutrition month and I wouldn't be doing my part if I didn't write a nutrition article.

Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Canada claiming over 48000 lives in 2012. This is a startling fact, but with these nutritional tips you can keep your heart beating strong for years to come.

1. Eat more fibre

Most people don't eat enough fiber. Fiber binds to cholesterol like a sponge and ultimately helps excrete cholesterol from the body. To get more fiber in your diet eat more oats, barley, legumes, fruits and vegetables.

2. Drink more water

drinking water is a good way to reduce overall calories by quenching thirst without adding sugar. Water also plays a role in effective blood flow. If you want to add some flavour feel free to ad some lemon or steep a teabag into it.

3. Consume more omega-3

Omega-3 acts as a powerful antioxidant that can help lower blood pressure and protect against heart disease. Fatty fish such as salmon, trout and herring are a good source of omega-3 and should be included in your diet at least twice a week.

4. Reduce added sugar in your diet.

Sugar is way more readily available in the North American diet than it should be. Due to this most people eat way more added sugar than they should. Being sure that 10% or less of your daily calories come from added sugar can help you control blood sugar, lower body weight and ultimately promote a healthy heart.

5. Watch your sodium intake.

Sodium should be consumed at a maximum of 2300 mg a day. Excess sodium puts you at risk for high blood pressure and eventual heart attack or stroke. To keep sodium in check try avoiding prepackaged foods as well as restaurant prepared and fast foods.

A heart healthy diet is part of an equation that should also include exercise, weight management and stress reduction and by making these changes you can support your heart for years to come.

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