Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, accounting for 25% of all the deaths in the U.S. You may be thinking that if you don’t have heart disease in your family you’re in the clear, but think again. While genetics and age play a role, most experts agree that certain lifestyle factors can promote heart disease. You shouldn’t wait until you’re diagnosed with heart disease to take action. Your doctor will help you keep track of important numbers such as fasting blood glucose levels, cholesterol and blood pressure, but here are some other numbers to keep in mind when planning your heart healthy diet.
500 – 1,000
Omega-3 fats found in fish oil are known to support healthy cholesterol levels and overall cardiovascular health. The American Heart Association recommends 500 – 1,000 mg of combined EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids if oily fish is lacking in your diet. For maximum cardiovascular support try a pharmaceutical grade omega-3 supplement such as Super Critical Omega. This powerful fish oil provides over 1,000 mg of omega-3 in just one softgel, plus 1,000 IU of vitamin D3, another essential nutrient.
Try to consume about 35 grams of fiber or more per day. The American Heart Association says that dietary fiber, especially soluble fiber, is associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. This may be due to fiber’s role in absorbing and helping to eliminate cholesterol from the body. Because it’s tough to get enough fiber in the diet, try adding a high quality fiber supplement to your daily routine.
A low sodium diet with just 1,500 mg or less of sodium per day can help prevent high blood pressure and heart disease. To reduce your sodium intake, try reducing store-bought and processed foods and use fresh pepper and other herbs instead of salt when seasoning foods.
Keep your sweet tooth tamed with just 6 or fewer teaspoons of added sugars per day. This number may look low, but the average American consumes over 20 teaspoons per day! Research has shown that there is a correlation between high sugar consumption and heart disease risk. Try fresh fruit or dark chocolate to curb your longing for sweets, or try a natural supplement designed to help ease sugar cravings.
So how do your numbers stack up? If you’re not sure, try keeping track for a couple of weeks to see how heart healthy your diet is. Check out other heart healthy supplements that provide even more cardiovascular support with oat beta glucan, CoQ10 and hawthorn. Eat whole, fresh and organic foods whenever possible, and keep an eye on the nutrition facts label. Arming yourself with information is the best way to stay on track toward a healthy heart.