While diet and exercise are often thought of as a quick fix for weight loss, they work well together to produce permanent changes that will help you live a long, healthier life. While diet and exercise are different ways to lose weight, they are interdependent in many ways. Here are some ways that eating a healthy diet can help you reduce your risk of having heart disease:
Eating a diet rich in fruits, veggies, whole grains, low-fat dairy and fish can help to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure levels by keeping your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check. Calcium is often associated with low-fat or low-calorie dairy products, so you should definitely have a few drinks of milk in your daily diet: Even if you don’t like the taste, drinking dairy helps your body to take in calcium quickly, making it an important mineral for your body to stay strong and healthy. The nutrients found in milk, especially calcium and phosphorus, help your body metabolize fat more efficiently, which means you burn more calories than you consume, thereby reducing your risk of heart disease and other health problems.
As previously mentioned, dairy products are great sources of calcium and phosphorus. However, other foods can also provide these nutrients as well. Try to eat foods high in potassium. Foods such as beans, spinach, tomatoes and citrus fruits all contain potassium and can help keep your blood pressure under control, while also providing other minerals that can benefit your body.
A healthy diet also includes lots of fruits, particularly apples and citrus fruits. These fruits are packed full of antioxidants, which can benefit your body in a number of ways, helping you fight off disease, promote a healthier immune system and fight infections. And, of course, they taste good!
A low-calorie diet is also important to maintaining a healthy heart. Fruits and vegetables are full of fiber, which helps to slow down the digestion process, allowing your stomach to digest food more slowly and getting all the nutrients that your body needs. Low-calorie and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables include bananas, avocados, green beans and whole grain cereals, and whole grain breads, among other foods.
An extremely low-fiber diet may not be the best choice for everyone, though, especially when you’ve got an issue with constipation. In this case, fiber is important for your digestive system. Try taking fiber supplements, which provide essential dietary fiber and can help you keep your stool softer, thus reducing the likelihood of stools being hard or sticky and making your bowel movement more painful.