17 Ways to Safeguard Your Heart
Stick with fresh foods. “Almost nothing in my meals comes from a package,” Goldberg says. “I snack on fresh fruits, especially clementines and peaches, and vegetables. I also like dried fruit, like unsweetened apricot slices, because it’s easy to pack and eat on the go.” In addition, Goldberg has at least one vegetable-laden salad a day. The base is dark greens, such as spinach, which she tops with lean grilled chicken or egg whites. She throws in lycopene-rich tomatoes and orange and red peppers for their antioxidants. “At a salad bar, I avoid anything glistening or creamy looking,” she says. “Two clues that they’ve got a lot of artery-clogging fat.”
Snack smartly. “I have a handful of almonds or walnuts when I get home or while cooking dinner,” says Goldberg. “This prevents me from overeating at night.” The walnuts have omega-3 fatty acids, and almonds contain arginine, which helps keep arteries strong.
Try a Mediterranean diet. Studies have shown that people who follow a Mediterranean diet have a 50 to 70 percent lower risk of recurrent heart disease, and those who get at least five servings of vegetables a day have about a 25 percent lower risk of a heart attack. So Goldberg consumes plenty of fish, grains, vegetables, fruits, and olive oil. “I think this is a great nonfad diet. Most people who start it usually stay with it,” she says. “It’s tasty and easy to live with.” Indeed, her copy of The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook is well-worn.