Most people think that it’s nearly impossible to get through Thanksgiving without eating a large and unhealthy feast. But, whether you are the host or a guest, you can have a healthy meal that your heart will be thankful for by following these guidelines.
Pick the Right Ingredients
There are many super foods that help keep your heart healthy including those foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help decrease inflammation in the arteries surrounding your heart. Check out this list of heart healthy foods and try to include them in your meal.
Use Low-Sodium Alternatives When Cooking
Most Americans consume far too much sodium. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, and reducing salt intake can help you lower yours. Before purchasing ingredients for your feast, read the labels and opt for low-sodium and no-salt-added products, and consider using fresh herbs in place of salt.
Keep Cholesterol Intake Low
The American Heart Association recommends that individuals with high cholesterol consume no more than 200 mg of dietary cholesterol daily. On average, a Thanksgiving turkey has 105 mg of dietary cholesterol in just one cup. And that’s not counting the gravy! Instead of going back for a second helping of turkey and gravy, be sure to fill up on fresh vegetables this holiday season.
With great fall weather and lots of family and friends around go outside, burn off some of that Thanksgiving feast with a fun game of flag football. The American Heart Association recommends at least 40 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise at least three to four times per week to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
These four simple steps will help make make your heart grateful this Thanksgiving. If you're looking for more ways to keep your heart healthy, make an appointment with your Baylor St. Luke's Medical Group primary care physician or cardiologist.