Allow me to cut to the chase: Going on a heart-healthy diet isn’t nearly as grim as you probably think it will be. Think it’s all chicken breasts and broccoli? Think again. According to leading nutritionists and the latest studies, you can eat chocolate, pasta, and wash it all down with some wine. (That is, of course, if you’re springing for the healthy options of all these so-called “bad” foods. More on that later.) What follows is a comprehensive compendium of all the mouthwatering cuisine—whether it’s a new dietary addition or a simple swap for an existing staple—you should eat to build a ticker as strong as steel. And for more ways to keep your heart safe, learn the 30 Best Ways to Lower Your Heart Attack Risk.


If you always opt for coffee over tea, you could be missing out on a major metabolism boost. In a recent 12-week study, participants who drank 4-5 cups of green tea daily, then did a 25-minute workout, lost an average of two more pounds and more belly fat than the non tea-drinking exercisers. What’s its magic? The brew contains catechins, a type of antioxidant that triggers the release of fat from fat cells and helps speed the liver’s capacity for turning fat into energy.
Also known as the caveman diet, the paleo diet is based on the premise that we should be eating like our prehistoric ancestors if we want to avoid developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other diseases. This means you will be eating lots of lean protein, fish, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats. As for what you eliminate from your diet, this includes dairy, potatoes, refined sugar, salt, and refined vegetable oils (such as canola). This diet calls for much cooking from scratch, so be prepared to get busy in the kitchen. The payoff? Potentially developing a killer bod.
Not only clad with the powers of transforming even the blandest burger into a scrumptious bite, onions are also stellar at combating cancer. According to University of Guelph researchers, Ontario-grown red onions pack a solid dose of quercetin and anthocyanin, which can fight off colon and breast cancers. “Onions activate pathways that encourage cancer cells to undergo cell death,” Abdulmonem Murayyan, the study’s lead author, explained. “They promote an unfavorable environment for cancer cells and they disrupt communication between cancer cells, which inhibits growth.”

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Unless you’re spiking your home-baked goods with hidden veggies and swapping sugar for stevia, you should actively avoid these sweets. Store-bought muffins and cupcakes make our list of foods that age you because they can contain a full day’s worth of added sugar—and the effects of the sweet stuff on aging are quite bitter. A report in Clinics in Dermatology states that glucose and fructose can compromise the collagen and elastin that support your skin’s elasticity, so avoiding baked goods with added sugars is a sure-fire way to keep wrinkles at bay.

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Spreading your meals throughout the day might keep you from getting too hungry and overeating. If so, it is a good idea. Athletes perform better when they eat more often in smaller amounts. If you are someone who has a hard time stopping once you start eating, 3 meals a day may make it easier for you to stick to an appropriate intake than lots of little snacks.
Whenever possible, slice each of your workouts into two smaller sessions. For example, do a 15-minute weight-lifting session in the morning, then do your 30-minute walk on your lunch hour or at night. You'll burn an extra 100 to 200 calories that day, explains Kelly Tracy, M.A., fitness coordinator at Duke University Diet and Fitness Center. Don't have time? Just add in some stair climbing or short walks throughout the day. Even small bursts of activity are enough to get your metabolism revved, according to a study in the scientific journal Nature. "I call it the mini stoke: For five minutes out of every hour, get up and do something, even if it's just walking around your office," says professor of medicine Peeke. "You can end up burning a couple of hundred extra calories. At What Age Does Your Metabolism Slow Down? How to Keep Your Metabolism Fast

This is less of a diet and more of a lifestyle, which makes it one of the more sustainable options for long-term benefits. In essence, a plant-based diet means your meals are primarily composed of fruits, veggies, nuts, whole grains, and seeds. You can still eat meat when you’re plant-based, but it should be viewed as more of a side dish rather than the main component of your meals.

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I am not an expert but have been where you are. My doctor told me that due to stress my cortisol hormone was quite high and this can make it difficult to lose weight. I was told to do more soothing exercise (long walks), yoga, and strength exercises. I also was told to eliminate sugar, flour, no red meat etc. it is working. I also have to watch my calories and it is working. You can conquer this Barbara, I wish you all the best.
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“Most 40-year-olds can remember the fat-free craze of the ’90s, when Snackwells was king,” says Shapiro. “Well, those days are over.” She advises that you leave the fat-free fake foods behind and enjoy healthy fats that add flavor to your meals and help you fill up with less. “Coconut oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, salmon are rich in vitamins and minerals that will keep you young and fill you up on smaller portions, and therefore fewer calories.” She says.

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