3 Heart-Healthy Foods for Weight Loss

3 Heart-Healthy Foods for Weight Loss

Heart health and weight management go hand in hand. Research shows that losing weight is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health, which means that maintaining a balanced diet of nutritious foods can not only help you lose weight faster, but also help you lose weight. keep your heart happy and healthy. In fact, there are several specific nutrient-dense foods that can target both of these factors in your health. This is especially great news for women over 40 looking to lose weight, as heart health becomes increasingly important as we age and our risk of cardiovascular problems increases.

To find out some of the best heart-healthy foods to add to your diet while you’re trying to lose weight in middle age, we spoke to mackenzie Bourgeois, RDN, Registered Nutritionist and Recipe Developer at Cheerful Choices. She told us that blueberries, chickpeas and whole grain bread are all excellent choices. Learn more about the benefits of these foods below!

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bowl of blueberries


1. Blueberries

When it comes to the healthiest snacks around, there’s nothing better than tasty, high-fiber blueberries. They’re great for your heart, waistline, and taste buds.

“A one-cup serving of blueberries provides just 80 calories and 4 grams of filling fiber to help you feel full longer,” Burgess tells us, noting that these berries are also high in essential nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, and a phytonutrient called anthocyanins, all of which can keep your heart healthy and aid weight loss.

She also points out that a new research study found that postmenopausal women between the ages of 45 and 65 who ate a cup of fresh blueberries every day had improvements in endothelial function, which “helps keep our blood vessels and is therefore important for the heart in general. health.” Incredible!

She recommends pairing blueberries with a handful of nuts as a snack, or even tossing them into a pancake for a heart-healthy, weight-loss-friendly breakfast.

Learn more about the amazing health benefits of berries here.

chickpeas in salad


2. Chickpeas

Another nutrient-dense superfood that can help keep your heart as healthy as possible is delicious, filling chickpeas. These legumes are loaded with protein, fiber and folate. Plus, they’re low in sodium, which Burgess says is great for your heart and for weight management.

“Eating legumes four or more times a week was associated with a 22% lower risk of developing coronary heart disease than eating them less than once a week,” she tells us. She also cites a study that found that a diet rich in legumes can lower cholesterol levels.

There are so many ways to enjoy chickpeas; Burgess recommends air frying them for a crispy snack or even making homemade hummus. Yum!

This article shares more benefits of chickpeas and hummus for weight loss.

whole grain bread


3. Whole grain bread

White grain bread can seriously harm your health and thwart your weight loss goals. Fortunately, whole grain bread is a different story; Burgess says making this swap is a simple way to improve your heart health.

She offers tips for making sure the bread you buy is whole grain: “Just go back to the ingredient label and make sure the first ingredient listed has the word ‘whole grain,'” she explains. . “You can also look for the Whole Grain Council’s 100% whole grain stamp.”

Burgess tells us that a study in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition found that people who ate whole-grain bread rather than refined white bread saw a reduction in belly fat. “This may be because whole grains contain more fiber than refined grains,” she says.

In general, research shows that increasing fiber intake can be a good way to reduce fat around your midsection. “Overall, increasing whole grains and fiber may help reduce belly fat, which goes hand-in-hand with reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease,” Burgess concludes.

woman holding heart figurine in front of heart


The bottom line

Many factors affect both your cardiovascular health and your ability to lose weight. However, your diet is one of the most important things to consider. In addition to limiting your intake of processed foods, adding heart-healthy options such as blueberries, chickpeas, and whole-grain bread to the mix is ​​a great way to hit your goal weight.

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