A Cardiologist Tells Us What To Snack On For A Healthy Heart Over 40: Blueberries, Yogurt, And More
By Faith Geiger,2023-02-03
It’s always important to prioritize your heart health, but it becomes increasingly essential as you grow older. This is because aging can lead to changes in your heart that make you more likely to develop issues like heart disease over time. For this reason, nourishing your body with heart-healthy foods instead of processed snacks is especially vital for people over 40. Luckily, there’s no shortage of tasty, nutritious options.
To discover some of the best snacks out there for a healthy heart, we spoke to Dr. Joshua Loh , a Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist and Medical Director at Capital Heart Centre. He told us that blueberries, popcorn, and Greek yogurt are all great choices to suit a number of tastes. Find all of his insight below!
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1. Something sweet - Blueberries
Unfortunately, as delicious as sugar is, it’s also terrible for your heart (and your overall health), which is why it’s so important to find a healthy sweet treat that you love. Dr. Loh says blueberries are one fantastic, heart-healthy option. “A handful of blueberries a day keeps the cardiologist away,” he jokes, noting that “Several studies have shown that blueberries reduce your risk of diabetes, obesity and heart disease.” Nice! Additionally, these tasty berries offer high amounts of compounds called anthocyanin, which he explains can help reduce oxidative stress and cell damage. Blueberries work great on their own as a snack, but you can also throw them on top of your yogurt, oatmeal, and more.
2. Something salty - Popcorn
If you’re more of a savory snack person, you may be inclined to reach for salty, processed snacks like potato chips–but it probably goes without saying that these foods should be avoided as much as possible for your health. Luckily, popcorn is one alternative that can actually help keep your heart in good shape. “This snack is whole grain and high in fiber, linked with lowering your risk of heart disease,” Dr. Loh tells us. However, remember that adding the wrong toppings can negate the health benefits. He reminds us that keeping butter and salt to a minimum is essential.
3. Something sour - Greek yogurt
You may already know about the gut-healthy benefits of some probiotic-rich Greek yogurt, but did you know that this delicious, versatile food can also do wonders for your heart? “Greek yogurt is connected to low cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which reduces your risk of heart disease,” Dr. Loh praises. Additionally, regularly eating a healthy bowl of Greek yogurt in the morning (or whenever you like) can lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes, which he notes can also lower your risk of heart issues. Nice!
All in all, maintaining a healthy heart requires a number of healthy habits, from regular exercise to ample sleep. However, diet plays a major role in your cardiovascular health, so making good food choices by swapping out junk food with snacks like these is one great way to go.
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