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New and Better Food Choices

Sensational Seniors

You can't control your heredity, your age or what has happened in the past, but you can control your selection and ingestion of food.

Healthy Food

It is easier than ever before because there are now many more good-tasting, healthier foods available. If you follow the advice of your own medical specialists and those of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the American Heart Association, you will select a diet low in cholesterol, sodium.

The eating style will not only be good for your heart, it will help you look and feel better because you may lose weight and have more energy.

Selecting Heart Healthy Foods

Artichokes with lemon Changing your diet is often the most effective way to lower your cholesterol, your blood pressure, and your weight. You need many different nutrients for good health: Protein, fat, carbohydrates, water, and a number of vitamins and minerals. A variety of foods can provide all these nutrients. No single food supplies all you need.

Artichokes and Heart Health.

It appears that there may be additional reasons to incorporate artichokes as part of a healthy diet. Preliminary research shows that artichokes may offer protection against heart disease in people with elevated lipid levels. Specifically, artichoke extracts (e.g., leaf, juice) may have lipid lowering properties. A number of mechanisms have been proposed through which artichokes may have a cardio protective effect. They include: interfering with the ability to produce cholesterol, enhancing the elimination of cholesterol from the body, inhibiting LDL oxidation and gene alterations.

Basically, you will want to eat less fat, cholesterol and salt; and eat more complex carbohydrates such as pasta, whole grain breads and beans. Also, you should begin to reduce your consumption of caffeine and alcohol. (See also: Aging and Alcohol Abuse .) It may be advisable to consult your physician regarding alcohol and caffeine intake. You may also need to decrease your portions of each meal to decrease calories, thus helping you lose body weight.

Altering the way you have eaten for an entire lifetime is not going to be easy - you should never get discouraged if you revert to your old ways once in a while. It's common and you're only human, after all.

Keep your diet tasty by eating a variety of foods.

What About That Fat?

Fat is a component of most foods of plant or animal origin and is an essential part of the diet. It is the most concentrated source of food energy and is vital to health. Fat deposits provide insulation and protection for body structure as well as a storehouse for energy.

The average American eats a diet in which about 36 percent of the calories come from fat. The Dietary Guidelines suggest that the percentage should be around 30 percent or less of total calories consumed. And, of course, we should limit saturated fats (less than 10 percent of total calories) and try to eliminate trans fat.

Food fats are made up of 3 types of fatty acids that influence the blood:

  1. Saturated fatty acids. These tend to raise blood cholesterol levels. They are found in the largest amounts in meat and dairy products, but also in some vegetable oils, including coconut and palm kernel oil. Saturated fats are the least active chemically. Most animal fats contain significant proportions of saturated fatty acids. However, they also contain some monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Butterfat and palm oil are high in saturated fats.
  2. Monounsaturated fatty acids. These are found in varying amounts in both plant and animal fat. Olive oil, peanut oil, some margarines and vegetable shortening tend to be high in monounsaturated fatty acids. Research has shown that substituting monounsaturated fat for saturated fat reduces blood cholesterol and may reduce your risk for having a heart attack.
  3. Polyunsaturated fatty acids. These tend to lower cholesterol levels. They are found mainly in foods derived from plants. Safflower, sunflower, corn, soybean and cottonseed oils contain large amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Unsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature.

Fatty Acids Supplement

Source Naturals Complete Essential Fatty Acids - an excellent blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The American Heart Association endorses omega-3 fatty acids for heart health. Promotes normal heart, joint and brain health. Key to growth and function of cells, muscles, nerves and organs. Contains no yeast, dairy, egg, gluten, or wheat. Contains no sugar, starch, salt, preservatives, or artificial color, flavor or fragrance.

Heart Health Meal Plan Freebie - 6 Page PDF Download

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Disclaimer: The material on this Web site is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or fitness professional. Please consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program or fat or weight reduction program. FitnessandFreebies.com takes no responsibility for individual results, or any claim made by a third party.