4 Tips for a Heart Healthy Diet | Whittier, CA | PIH Health

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Published on February 14, 2022

4 Tips for a Heart Healthy Diet

Photo of a young girl enjoying a slice of Watermelon outdoors“To live a heart healthy lifestyle, we must listen to our bodies and take steps to ensure our habits align with the well-being we desire,” says Renee Palta DO, PIH Health Gastroenterology. “Notice how your body responds as you eat certain foods. Stomach pain and other gastrointestinal discomfort may be avoided by eating foods that react well to you.”

Here are 4 tips to maintain a heart healthy diet.

  1. Make a grocery list ahead of time. Before going to the supermarket, make a list of all the heart healthy diet items you want to eat and stick to that list as you shop. You’re more likely to eat nutritious food if that’s all you have at home. Stock up on vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, fish and chicken, and try to avoid heavy red meats, dressings, sauces and fried food. You can also decode food labels as you shop, to fully know the ingredients going into your body.
  2. Stick to smaller portions and take your time eating. Take note of how much you’re eating, and to help avoid overconsumption, you can do something as simple as picking a smaller plate. Eat slowly and intentionally by focusing on each bite. If you spend more time eating a meal, you may realize that you are satisfied before finishing your plate of food. Remember, it’s okay to finish your food when you are hungry and it’s also okay to push your plate away and save it for later if you get full. Find more ways to improve your nutrition and well-being by visiting myplate.gov.
  3. Listen to your body. As we mentioned earlier, your body will tell you how certain foods make it feel. No two bodies are the same, so take a moment to notice how you feel after eating. If your stomach feels good and lively, the food you just ate probably corresponds well with you. If you feel heavy and notice stomach aches, then you may want to consider avoiding those foods or ingredients. Another good indicator is to note your bowel movements and stool.
  4. Make a healthy routine and stick to it. People who sustain a healthy lifestyle often have a routine they stick to. Create a heart healthy diet that works for you and eat these foods regularly. There are many simple recipes online that contain only heart healthy ingredients so it won’t get boring to consume the same food.

There is a common misconception that eating a heart healthy diet has to be expensive, but contrary to popular belief, there are ways that you can save on costs. Look for coupons and sales at markets near you and read our budgeting tips. Along with eating a heart healthy diet, you can also get in the habit of exercising regularly. Learn how to stay motivated and get fit, then talk to your physician about other ways to keep yourself in tip-top shape!

Visit PIHHealth.org/Find-a-Doctor to make an appointment.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.