Healthy Food for Weight Loss

What was the last thing you ate? Why did you eat it – because you were hungry? Bored? A protein bar or bag of chips was just sitting there? A coworker brought cookies or donuts to the break room? Or maybe you started your day with breakfast like you always do. Whatever it was, whenever it was, did you think about what you were putting in your body and why? Get ready to shift your perspective on food as we talk about how to eat more mindfully and intentionally for our hearts and overall health.

Our subject matter expert encourages us to shift how we perceive food and eating.

“We have to think about each meal as really an opportunity to make a better choice,” Yaron Fridman, MD, explains. “There are many times I want to mindlessly eat,” even Dr. Fridman admits (especially after a 30-hour shift). But when you take a minute to think about what you’re eating, putting in your body and even where it came from, you can help create a shift in your overall health.

“We can make small choices and those small choices make a big difference.” Do you ever find yourself eating just to eat? (Us too.) But what if every time you ate, you thought if it as an opportunity to empower your heart and take charge of your own wellbeing? Dr. Fridman says this is “better than any medicine he can prescribe.”

Did you know you can actually change the way food tastes? Our bodies were created to not only consume and digest raw foods, but actually enjoy them. If you slowly cut out artificial sweets or processed foods and replace them with more natural sugars from foods like fruits, they will start to taste sweeter. If you ever wondered how some people consider fruit “dessert,” to some it may taste the way that fudge brownie or chocolate mousse does to others.

But your taste buds won’t change overnight.

Like breaking any bad habit or developing a better one, it takes patience and effort. “Think of something you’re really good at. You didn’t get there overnight,” Dr. Fridman explains. Not sure where to start? Try meal prepping. Benefits include more mindful and intentional eating throughout the week, saving money, saving your mental energy and saving calories. Once you get the hang of it, you can become more creative and you may even find that you enjoy something that once seemed like a chore.

We asked Dr. Fridman how a heart-healthy focus on food and eating shows up in his life.

“I think it’s very important that when you give advice you practice what you preach,” Dr. Fridman says. “I whole-heartedly try to take the same tips and tricks that I give my patients and use them in my daily life.”

He does that by taking a minute to think about what he’s putting in his body before he eats, drinking water, and meal prepping with support from his wife, as they try to help their kids develop good habits early that become a part of their daily life as they grow up.

Yaron Fridman, MD, is a general cardiologist at Asheville Cardiology Associates, an affiliate of Mission Health. He treats aspects of heart disease from preventative to advanced cardiac care and specializes in advanced cardiac imaging with an expertise in cardiac MRI.

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