Shrimp & a Heart Healthy Diet

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Eating a heart-healthy diet is a good idea for anyone, regardless of whether or not a higher risk for cardiac conditions has been designated. A heart-healthy diet is a natural diet solution that can help you to deal with and prevent cardiac conditions, ranging from high blood pressure to heart attack to stroke. The crux of a heart-healthy diet is sticking to consumption of plant-based foods and other items, such as seafood that can help decrease your risk factors for disease. Shrimp is a quality, low-mercury choice for inclusion in the seafood-friendly, heart-healthy diet.

  1. Heart-Healthy Diet

    • As part of a heart-healthy diet, eat food low in sodium, cholesterol, and saturated and trans fats, keeping total fats to between 25 and 35 percent of your total daily calories. The bulk of your nutrition while on this plan should consist of consumption of food from plant-based sources, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, along with plenty of seafood and other types of lean protein, including low-fat meat and chicken. Seafood and shrimp are especially important for consideration as part of a heart-healthy diet due to their content of omega-3 fat, which is a type of fat that is effective in lowering blood pressure and triglyceride levels and effective in the prevention of cardiac disease, according to information from the Mayo Clinic. Do not worry too much about the cholesterol content of shrimp because a study published in 1996 in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" found that consumption of shrimp does not raise overall cholesterol levels, despite its high cholesterol content. The American Heart Association recommends that you consume fish at least twice a week, but there is nothing stopping you from aiming to consume at least one serving of shrimp per day, especially considering that, according to information from Yahoo Health, shrimp is a type of seafood that is particularly low in mercury.

    Limiting Sodium and Cholesterol

    • Limit your consumption of sodium to no more than 2,000mg per day and your consumption of cholesterol to no more than 300mg per day while following a heart-healthy diet. Check the nutritional information for all the food you eat throughout each day, keeping a running tally on a pad of paper regarding your cholesterol and sodium intake so you do not inadvertently stray over your limit. Eventually, you will settle into a routine in which you find food and a combination of food that allows you to remain under your sodium and cholesterol ceiling without having to write each item down, but you should get in the habit of doing so at first to ensure that you don't stray from the precepts of a heart-healthy diet. You might need to invest in a food scale to weigh portions of food properly to ensure accuracy, but the end result will be well worth it when you receive a clean bill of health from your physician.

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