Proper digestion and healthy nutrition are closely connected with you heart’s normal functioning. Follow these simple tips to please your digestive system and make your heart healthier.

Avoid trans fatty acids

Trans fatty acids are most commonly found in commercially prepared baked goods, partially-hydrogenated margarine, snack foods and processed foods. For instance, French fries and onion rings which have a great deal of trans fatty acids. Trans fats are bad for cholesterol levels as they increase bad LDL-C and lower good HDL-C. It is therefore important to avoid all foods containing trans fatty acids. Keep a look-out for trans fat listed on food labels, where it’s situated right below saturated fats.

Limit foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol

Saturated fats are mainly animal fats, found mostly in animal or animal-derived foods. These include whole-fat dairy products, for instance, fresh milk, butter, full cream milk, cheese and mayonnaise as well as meat fat (ghee, lard, fats from beef and chicken). Some plant foods (coconut oil, santan) are also high in saturated fats. Saturated fats damage the body by increasing LDL-C levels, so it’s best to limit your consumption. It’s also wise to cut down on all animal meats and products. Being sources of cholesterol, they tend to raise LDL-C levels. Foods with high cholesterol levels are prawns, crabs, oysters and squid. The worst culprits, however, are offal (liver, brain, kidney and intestine) and egg yolk. It’s fine to have two to three eggs a week, provided you keep your animal fats intake low.

Use more monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)

Unsaturated fats are found in products derived from plant sources such as nuts, seeds and vegetable oils. There are two types of unsaturated fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Both types are beneficial as they help lower LDL-C. You can find monounsaturated fats in plant oils such as canola, olive, and peanut. Sources for polyunsaturated fats include plant oils (corn, sunflower, soy) and nuts (almonds, hazelnuts). Another type of healthy polyunsaturated fat is omega-3-fatty acid, which is found in salmon and tuna.

Increase your fibre intake

There are two types of fibre: soluble and insoluble:-Soluble fibre (such as beta glucan, pectin, etc) can be mainly found in high amount in oats, barley, legumes and some fruits (such as apples). Insoluble fibre is found in fruits, vegetables, seeds and whole grains (which can be found in high amount in wholegrain and wholemeal bread and some breakfast cereals). Do try to consume a combination of both types of fibre by adding high fibre foods in your daily diet. The recommended total dietary intake of fibre is 20-30g per day, out of which at least 6g should comprise soluble fibre

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