17 Ways to Safeguard Your Heart
Go with red wine. “I’m actually allergic to alcohol, so I don’t drink. But if you like to, opt for wine, and limit it to one glass a day,” Goldberg says. Red, in particular, has a high concentration of the antioxidant resveratrol, which can help maintain blood vessels’ health. “But grape juice has the same benefits―something wine lovers don’t always want to hear,” she adds.
Throw salt overboard. Since excess salt can increase blood pressure, Goldberg tells her patients to keep their sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams a day, which many people hit from processed foods alone. “Simply remove the salt shaker from the table,” she says. “One of the best substitutes is chopped chives. Sprinkle a few teaspoons on soups, salads, or pasta for a salty kick.”
Do better than butter. Goldberg occasionally uses a spread, like Benecol or Smart Balance, on bread. Both have plant-derived stanol esters, which can help lower bad cholesterol. “The labels tout this, but don’t think of these products as medicine,” she says. “You certainly don’t want to ingest the amount it would take to make them work that way. They’re just better choices than butter or margarine.”