A new year means it’s time for a new you. Many people resolve to join a gym and work out after January 1. Why not focus that healthy energy on your most important muscle—your heart? Here are some tips on how to start the new year without damaging your cardiovascular system or triggering AFib.

Shrink Your Intake of Sugars and Sodium

A lot of our foods already come with high amounts of sugars or artificial sweeteners. More sugar in your diet adds the possibility of high blood pressure, a well-known risk factor for heart attack and stroke. While heart attacks aren’t the same as AFib, the two are still correlated. Remember to watch your sugar intake and decrease those desserts this year.

Sodium is another culprit of heart problems, causing issues in a similar way that sugar does. Most commonly found in salt, sodium appears in cured and canned foods, salty snacks and much more. Although they are delicious, keep in mind your daily sodium intake for the benefit of your heart.

Take Advantage of Fiber

Getting sufficient fiber can help you maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This year, include whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, fruits and veggies in your diet as often as you can.

Go Plant-Based

You don’t necessarily need to become a vegetarian to become heart-healthy, but adding more vegetables on your platter will do wonders for your heart in the long run. Increasing your intake of fiber and vitamins is helpful for maintaining normal blood pressure. Try subbing your next burger out for a veggie burger, or exchanging noodles for zucchini “zoodles.” 

Swap Red Meat for Fish

Apart from stacking your plate with leafy greens, a simple switch from meat to fish is also beneficial. Fish are chock full of omega-3 fatty acids that reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. What’s more, these fats remain healthy even as you age.

Take Care for a New Year

What better new year’s resolution than to protect your heart health? If you have questions about AFib or feel an abnormal heart rhythm, don’t wait. Schedule an appointment and talk to a cardiologist at Heart Rhythm Consultants today. Our team of experienced EP doctors are always happy to help to address concerns regarding your health.

About Heart Rhythm Consultants, P.A.

The experienced electrophysiologists of Heart Rhythm Consultants, P.A. have been serving West Florida including Sarasota, Venice, Tampa, Port Charlotte, and Sun City Center for over 15 years. Our specialty cardiologists, or EP doctors, help patients manage their abnormal heart rhythm conditions, whether they suffer from arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation (AFib), or other irregular heartbeats. Dr. Dilip J. Mathew, Dr. Antonio Moretta, and Dr. Rajesh Malik perform arrhythmia treatments like cardiac ablation, cryoablation, and implanting pacemakers or defibrillators. Dr. Mathew has performed nearly 5,000 complex cardiac ablations. View our office locations in Sarasota and Venice, Florida.