We all know a couch potato with a cholesterol level most people would kill for. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the lean mean exercise machine not an ounce of fat on their body whose cholesterol levels look like they were pulled out of a cholesterol cauldron. It’s plain and simple; heart disease cannot be determined by your weight or your activity level. It begins with your diet, what you put into your body as fuel. Since February is American Heart Month, take a closer look at your diet and determine if it’s the best diet you have to offer your heart.

February being the month of love

and American Heart Month, it couldn’t be a better time to acquire a heart healthy diet. A longer life of making memories together; it’s one of the easiest gifts you can give to those you love. To help you maintain a heart healthy diet, here are ten ways start a heart healthy diet for you and your family. These ten tips have been highly recommended by Nutshell Nutrition, an online platform that provides helpful and reliable information about nutrition and diet. Hence, you can assure that these are really effective and useful.

Heart Healthy Diet Tip # 1

Throw out vegetable oil and use olive oil and coconut oil for all your cooking needs. Both have been shown to reduce bad cholesterol levels (LDL). In addition, coconut oil is an energy food that can boost your metabolism. It’s one of the healthiest oils in the world, yet one of the least consumed because it typically is deemed bad for you.

Heart Healthy Diet Tip # 2

Eliminate sugar from your diet. The sugars our bodies need is found naturally in fruits and vegetables. It is NOT the processed, refined, and bleached crystal substance that is highly addictive.

Heart Healthy Diet Tip # 3

Add Omega 3 fatty acids to your diet, especially DHA and EPA found in fish oil. If you aren’t fond of fish, you can purchase fish oil capsules and freeze them. Take as directed on the bottle.

Heart Healthy Diet Tip # 4

Eliminate or minimize the saturated fats that you eat and cook with. Read the labels. If a label indicates the product has more than 10% saturated fat, don’t eat it. Better yet, don’t buy it!

Heart Healthy Diet Tip # 5

Eat plenty of grain products, fruits and vegetables. Fiber is a great tool to bind to cholesterol and remove it from the body.

Heart Healthy Diet Tip # 6

If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation. You will consume less calories by consuming the “lite” varieties.

Heart Healthy Diet Tip # 7

For some families that could stand to lose a little weight, try purchasing dishes that are smaller. A smaller plate will hold less food. Less food is less calories and less chance of gaining more weight, which could lead to a host of health problems, including heart disease and diabetes.

Heart Healthy Diet Tip # 8

Try drinking water at room temperature or warm tea with meals. It’s proven to aid in the digestion process.

Heart Healthy Diet Tip # 9

Get more exercise. You don’t have to join a gym to add a little activity to your day. There are exercises you can do at your desk and you can take the steps instead of the elevator, or do some stretches or knee bends while you’re folding clothes.

Heart Healthy Diet Tip # 10

Laugh and laugh often. Laughing eliminates stress and stress is a factor for heart disease and is a contributor to any pre-existing condition you may have.