What a cardiologist eats to protect heart health

It is known that a healthy diet plays a very important role in our heart health.

Foods high in cholesterol, saturated fat, sugar, and salt may contribute to arterial plaque buildup and increase risks of heart disease.

However, many people feel confused when they try to determine what to eat for protecting their heart.

Sharlene Day, M.D., a Michigan Medicine cardiologist, shares what she eats in daily life for a healthy heart.

The mother of two suggests that people eat fresh, home-cooked meals with lean proteins and vegetables whenever possible.

Here is a food diary from her recent workday:

The breakfast includes low-fat Greek yogurt, banana, granola with raspberries.

The meal can provide enough calories and protein. In addition, bananas provide potassium, which helps reduce blood pressure.

Raspberries are rich in polyphenols, micronutrients that are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.

The yogurt is packed with protein to help curb appetite. The low-sugar granola supplies fiber, iron and unsaturated fats.

The lunch is vegetable lasagna.

It is fine to eat starches and carbs for much-needed energy. Cheese, applied lightly, is a blend of part-skim mozzarella and cottage cheese.

Day supplements this dish with layers of zucchini, mushrooms, and spinach, the latter of which packs a particularly strong punch.

Spinach is rich in vitamins and nutrients and may help lower blood pressure.

The dinner is homemade poke bowls.

The family cooks Asian cuisine once a week and it is an opportunity to load up on veggies.

A buffet spread of tofu, spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, and sugar snap peas allowed everyone to dress their entrees as they wish.

The family recently enjoyed a raw fish bowl with fresh marinated tuna sashimi and sushi rice.

The raw tuna offers a substantial boost of omega-3 fatty acids to help reduce inflammation that can cause heart disease.

The fatty acid is also known to reduce triglycerides and lower blood pressure.

The dessert is sorbet.

Traditional ice cream is a periodic indulgence for hear, but frozen yogurt or fresh fruit sorbet is a more sensible sweet that can be enjoyed anytime.

The dessert tastes good and is not high in fat and calories.

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