While we have always been recommended certain heart healthy foods that promote heart health, what we have never been warned about are the ill effects of consuming these food items in excess. One rule that you must follow without reservation is the “everything in moderation” rule. Oatmeal, for example, is one such food item that is recommended as a part of every heart healthy diet. However, while oats are a super healthy snack, they are also extremely high in calories, much like fries and cake.
In much the same way, the following is a list of 5 heart healthy food items that you should have, but shouldn’t overdo:
- Nuts: When consumed as a part of a balanced diet, walnuts, almonds and other fruits can lead to a decrease in the levels of cholesterol in the body. They also help in containing the levels of blood sugar and keeps hunger at bay. However, nuts are also rich sources of calories as each ounce of any nut contains between 160 and 190 calories. Excessive consumption of nuts can lead to weight gain, as well as increased cholesterol levels in the body, which has an impact that is opposite to the one that you were hoping for.
- Avocado: While avocado is a rich source of Potassium, Vitamins B6, E and C, folic acid and Magnesium which are all contributors to your heart health, one medium sized avocado contains a whopping 227 calories! This not only contributes to an increase in your belly fat but also adds up to a not-so-healthy snacking option.
This is no way means that you should halt avocado consumption, but limit it to half a medium sized fruit per day. Wrap the other half in a plastic wrap so that the fruit is kept fresh until you are ready to consume the rest of it.
- Dark Chocolate: Not only is dark chocolate at the top of the heart healthy foods list, it can also help flatten belly fat as well as improve digestion. Watching your portion size while consuming dark chocolate is imperative since more isn’t better when it comes to your intake of dark chocolate. Excess consumption of dark chocolate leads to an increased urge to urinate, faster heartbeat as well as sleeplessness.
- Spinach: Spinach is a rich source of lutein, which helps in preventing Muscular Degeneration and promotes a stronger, healthier heart. However, Spinach is also a source of oxalate, which is a compound that causes kidney stones. Thus, it is advisable to combine spinach intake with a citrus fruit as Vitamin C is a source of iron that makes it easier for the body to absorb the nutrients present in Spinach and prevent the build up of oxalate in the body.
- Beans: Sure, Beans are good for your heart. A little known fact, however, is that beans are also one of the primary sources of belly fattening fibre and muscle building protein. Portion control while consuming beans is a must since they are high on calories. Beans consumption should be limited to ¾ to 1 cup per day, clocking it up to 200 to 250 calories per day.
A healthy, well balanced diet that is good for the heart contains equitable proportions of nuts, green leafy vegetables, legumes, fruits as well as ample amounts of exercise and physical activity in order to promote the health of your heart.