Fat sometimes gets a bad rap, but choosing the right types of fats – mono- and poly-unsaturated fats – actually promotes heart health. Along with choosing heart healthy fats, think about incorporating more soluble fiber in your diet. Soluble fiber, especially when you get more than 10 grams per day, can significantly improve your cholesterol levels.
Foods you can start eating now to improve your heart health:
Nuts are packed with monounsaturated fats, arginine, potassium, vitamin E, and fiber. Eating ½ cup of nuts per day can lower your LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) by up to 5 percent. Any kind of nut is a good choice – walnuts, almonds, peanuts, and pistachios, for example. Choose unsalted nuts and take them as a snack or add them to your salad or stir-fry.
Soy products are a good source of soluble fiber and the types of fat that can be converted to omega-3 fatty acids. Incorporate edamame, mature soybeans, tofu, or soy milk into your routine. Edamame is an excellent snack, or think about chilling it and adding it to your salad.
Eat two or three servings of fatty fish every week. Fatty fish, or oily fish are lake trout, salmon, sardines, albacore tuna, herring, oysters, and halibut. Fatty fish are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation and can lower your triglyceride levels.
Avocados are an excellent source of soluble fiber, monounsaturated fats, potassium, and vitamin K. Add sliced avocados to tacos, smoothies, soups, sandwiches, etc.