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A Low Fat, Heart Healthy Diet

1099 words - 4 pages

Low Fat Heart Healthy Diet
A low fat heart healthy diet is my idea of the best nutritional diet, especially since heart disease is the number one killer among people in the United States. Cardiovascular disease is very prevalent in my family. I lost both, paternal and maternal grandparents to heart disease. My father has severe heart disease, and my mother and brother are both hypertensive and require medication; therefore, I know I’m especially vulnerable to this disease.
For many years, I ate whatever I wanted without regard to the nutritional value of the garbage I was putting in my mouth. About six years ago, at the age of 44, I found myself feeling fatigued all the time. I had no energy and couldn’t even walk around the mall without giving out of breath. I also started having a lot of aches and pains. Even though my blood pressure was in the normal range, my cholesterol levels were not. I am only five feet three inches tall, and at that point in time, I weighed 148 pounds. I felt like I was carrying around a ton of bricks. I decided to make a change and started making good, healthy decisions about what I was putting in my mouth. I gave up fried foods, over-processed foods (especially anything with trans fats), foods and liquids high in sugar, and paid special attention to my sodium intake. I started reading the food nutrition facts on everything that had one. Some people might say I became a fanatic about food labels, but I think it is essential to understand what you are putting in your mouth. Actually, it didn’t take long, I memorized the nutritional values of many of the food products I buy on a regular basis, Of course, if I’m interested in a new product, I still read the nutrition facts for that product. I stick to baked, broiled or grilled lean meats and fish for my protein sources. I only occasionally eat lean red meat. I usually steam or roast fresh vegetables with olive oil, and I try to eat lots of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables, and I try to stick to whole grains; all of which are good carbohydrate sources. I usually stick to nonfat milk, cultured yogurt and low-fat frozen yogurt for my dairy products. I try to get good fat sources from fish, nuts, avocados, olives, and olive oil; all of which are good sources of the Omega 3’s, and are important in maintaining good HDL cholesterol levels. By making these changes to my diet, within 8 months, I went from 148 pounds to 106 pounds and have maintained that weight for 6 years. I have a lot more energy now and the aches and pains are fewer and farther between. Best of all, my cholesterol levels are in the normal range now. I am not a very active person, so my daily caloric intake is usually between 1300 and 1500 calories. Totally adhering to this type of diet may not be realistic for some people, but if you make a conscious effort and think about what you are putting in your mouth, you will inevitably make better food choices. Below is an example of what I consider to be a balanced...

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