A heart-healthy diet can help you reduce your atrial fibrillation risk factors. Good news: Making healthy changes in your diet is easier than you might think.
Diet alone may not be able to prevent atrial fibrillation, but what you eat definitely counts. In fact, when researchers from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health analyzed a group of studies on diet and atrial fibrillation, they found evidence that making smart food choices can help reduce your risk. And if you’ve already been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, the right diet may help reduce your symptoms.

 Boost Heart Healthy Diet Tips
Get active
Do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. One way to achieve this target is by doing 30 minutes of activity on five days a week. Fit it in where you can, such as by cycling to work.
Give up Smoking
Smoking is one of the main causes of coronary heart disease. A year after giving up, your risk of a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.
Manage your weight
Being overweight can increase your risk of heart disease. Stick to a well-balanced diet low in fat and high in fruit and vegetables, combined with plenty of physical activity. Download the 12-week weight loss plan.
Ditch the salt
To maintain a healthy blood pressure, stop using salt at the table and try adding less to your cooking, or cut it out completely. You'll soon get used to it. Also watch out for high salt levels in processed foods. Check the food labels – a food is high in salt if it has more than 1.5g salt (or 0.6g sodium) per 100g.
Get your 5 A DAY.
Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Add dried fruit to breakfast cereal, and add vegetables to your pasta sauces and curries.
Eat Oily Fish
Eat oily fish twice a week. Fish such as mackerel, sardines, fresh tuna and salmon are an excellent source of omega-3 fats, which can help protect against heart disease.
Walk Off Stress
If you're feeling under pressure, clear your mind with a walk. It will help put your ideas in order and reduce tension. If it's a brisk walk, it will also count towards your daily activity.
Cut Saturated Fat
Small changes to your diet can have positive health benefits. Choose semi-skimmed over full-fat milk, leaner cuts of meat, and steam or grill foods rather than frying.
Alcohol Drink Less
Alcohol can be fattening. If you added three or four gin and tonics to your usual daily diet, you could put on nearly 2kg over four weeks.
Read The Food Label
When shopping, look at the label on food packets to see what the product contains. Understanding what is in food will help you make healthier choices.
Lower Cholesterol

Tips for Avoiding Heart Disease

Oatmeal
Omega-3 fatty acids; magnesium; potassium; folate; niacin; calcium; soluble fiber.
Top hot oatmeal with fresh berries. Oatmeal-and-raisin cookies are a hearty treat.
Black or Kidney Beans
B-complex vitamins; niacin; folate; magnesium; omega-3 fatty acids; calcium; soluble fiber.
Give soup or salad a nutrient boost -- stir in some beans.
Almonds
Plant omega-3 fatty acids; vitamin E; magnesium; fiber; heart-favorable mono- and polyunsaturated fats; phytosterols.
Mix a few almonds (and berries) into low-fat yogurt, trail mix, or fruit salads.
Walnuts
Plant omega-3 fatty acids; vitamin E; magnesium; folate; fiber; heart-favorable mono- and polyunsaturated fats; phytosterols.

Tofu
Niacin; folate; calcium; magnesium; potassium.
Tasty tofu is easy: Thinly slice "firm" tofu, marinate several hours, grill or stir-fry.
Brown rice
B-complex vitamins; fiber; niacin; magnesium, fiber.
Microwavable brown rice makes a quick lunch. Stir in a few chopped veggies (broccoli, carrots, spinach).
Soy Milk
Isoflavones (a flavonoid); B-complex vitamins; niacin; folate, calcium; magnesium; potassium; phytoestrogens.
Soy milk is great over oatmeal or whole-grain cereal. Or, make a smoothie with soy milk.
Blueberries
Beta-carotene and lutein (carotenoids); anthocyanin (a flavonoid); ellagic acid (a polyphenol); vitamin C; folate; calcium, magnesium; potassium; fiber.
Cranberries, strawberries, raspberries are potent, too for trail mixes, muffins, salads!
Carrots
Alpha-carotene (a carotenoid); fiber.
Baby carrots are sweet for lunch. Sneak shredded carrots into spaghetti sauce or muffin batter.
Spinach
Lutein (a carotenoid); B-complex vitamins; folate; magnesium; potassium; calcium; fiber.
Pick spinach (not lettuce) for nutrient-packed salads and sandwiches.
Broccoli
Beta-carotene (a carotenoid); Vitamins C and E; potassium; folate; calcium; fiber.
Chop fresh broccoli into store-bought soup. For a veggie dip, try hummus (chickpeas).
Sweet Potato
Beta-carotene (a carotenoid); vitamins A, C, E; fiber.
Microwave in a zip-lock baggie for lunch. Eat au naturale, or with pineapple bits.
Red Bell Peppers
Beta-carotene and lutein (carotenoids); B-complex vitamins; folate; potassium; fiber.
Rub with olive oil, and grill or oven-roast until tender. Delicious in wraps, salads, sandwiches.
Asparagus
Beta-carotene and lutein (carotenoids); B-complex vitamins; folate; fiber.
Grill or steam slightly, then dress with olive oil and lemon. It's a pretty side dish.
Oranges
Beta-cryptoxanthin, beta- and alpha-carotene, lutein (carotenoids) and flavones (flavonoids); vitamin C; potassium; folate; fiber.
Got orange juice? Check out the new nutrient-packed blends.
Tomatoes
Beta- and alpha-carotene, lycopene, lutein (carotenoids); vitamin C; potassium; folate; fiber.
For a flavor twist, try oil-packed tomatoes in sandwiches, salads, pastas, pizzas.
Acorn Squash
Beta-carotene and lutein (carotenoids); B-complex and C vitamins; folate; calcium; magnesium; potassium; fiber.
Baked squash is comfort food on a chilly day. Serve with spinach, pine nuts, raisins.
Cantaloupe
Alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein (carotenoids); B-complex and C vitamins; folate; potassium; fiber.
A fragrant ripe cantaloupe is perfect for breakfast, lunch, potluck dinners. Simply cut and enjoy!
Papaya
Beta-carotene,beta-cryptoxanthin,lutein (carotenoids); Vitamins C and E; folate; calcium; magnesium; potassium.
Serve papaya salsa with salmon: Mix papaya, pineapple, scallions, garlic, fresh lime juice, salt and black pepper.
Dark Chocolate
Reservatrol and cocoa phenols (flavonoids).
A truffle a day lowers blood pressure, but choose 70% or higher cocoa content.
Tea
Catechins and flavonols (flavonoids).
Make sun tea: Combine a clear glass jar, several tea bags, and hours of sunshine.
Bagel Bigger isn't always better
Use measuring spoons to help with portion control and don’t always go for the biggest when it comes to choosing individually portioned foods. These little choices can really add up: we know that by choosing the smallest bagel at breakfast rather than the largest each day you could save enough calories over a year to mean you lose 5½lbs.

    Heart-Healthy Diet: 
    Eat More Vegetables And Fruits
    Whole-Wheat Flour
    Whole-grain bread, preferably 100% whole-wheat bread or 100% whole-grain bread
    High-fiber cereal with 5 g or more of fiber in a serving

    Whole grains such as brown rice, barley and buckwheat
    • Whole-grain pasta
    • Oatmeal (steel-cut or regular)
    • Ground flaxseed
    • White, refined flour
    • White bread
    • Muffins
    • Frozen waffles
    • Corn bread
    • Doughnuts
    • Biscuits
    • Quick breads
    • Granola bars
    • Cakes
    • Pies
    • Egg noodles
    • Buttered popcorn
    • High-fat snack crackers
    Limit Unhealthy Fats And Cholesterol
    Limiting how much saturated and trans fats you eat is an important step to reduce your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of coronary artery disease. A high blood cholesterol level can lead to a buildup of plaques in your arteries, called atherosclerosis, which can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.
    The American Heart Association offers these guidelines for how much fat and cholesterol to include in a heart-healthy diet:
      Fats To Choose Fats To Limit
      Olive oil
      Canola oil
      Margarine that's free of trans fats
      Cholesterol-lowering margarine, such as Benecol, Promise Activ or Smart Balance
      Butter
      Lard
      Bacon fat
      Gravy
      Cream sauce
      Nondairy creamers
      Hydrogenated margarine and shortening
      Cocoa butter, found in chocolate
      Coconut, palm, cottonseed and palm-kernel oils

      Choose Proteins 
      Low-fat dairy products such as skim or low-fat (1%) milk, yogurt and cheese
      Egg whites or egg substitutes
      Fish, especially fatty, cold-water fish, such as salmon
      Skinless poultry
      Legumes
      Soybeans and soy products, for example, soy burgers and tofu
      Lean ground meats
      Full-fat milk and other dairy products
      Organ meats, such as liver
      Egg yolks
      Fatty and marbled meats
      Spareribs
      Cold cuts
      Hot dogs and sausages
      Bacon
      Fried or breaded meats

      Low-salt items to choose/High-salt items to avoid
      • Herbs and spices
      • Salt substitutes
      • Reduced-salt canned soups or prepared meals
      • Reduced-salt versions of condiments, such as reduced-salt soy sauce and reduced-salt ketchup
      • Table salt
      • Canned soups and prepared foods, such as frozen dinners
      • Tomato juice
      • Soy sauce

      Choose Low-Fat Protein Sources
      Lean meat, poultry and fish, low-fat dairy products, and egg whites or egg substitutes are some of your best sources of protein. But be careful to choose lower fat options, such as skim milk rather than whole milk and skinless chicken breasts rather than fried chicken patties.
      Fish is another good alternative to high-fat meats. And certain types of fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood fats called triglycerides. You'll find the highest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in cold-water fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring. Other sources are flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans and canola oil.
      Legumes beans, peas and lentils also are good sources of protein and contain less fat and no cholesterol, making them good substitutes for meat. Substituting plant protein for animal protein  for example, a soy or bean burger for a hamburger will reduce your fat and cholesterol intake.
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