26. Eat Salmon
Doctors are always telling us to eat more fish. But what they really should be saying is eat salmon. Along with being a great source of lean protein, salmon provides five to 20 times more omega-3 fatty acids than tuna, tilapia, grouper, whitefish, and many types of trout. Reams of research proves that omega-3s protect your heart, brain, and eyes; tame disease-causing inflammation; and slow down aging at the cellular level. Although wild-caught salmon is usually more sustainable than farmed, any type of salmon will offer ample omega-3s, and just one serving per week is enough to net you the myriad health benefits. Plus, salmon generally carries less toxic mercury than many other fish types.
27. Find More Fatty Plants
You need a range of fats in your diet, but especially monounsaturated fat, which lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and can reduce risk of heart disease and stroke. Avocadoes are an awesome source of monounsaturated fat, as well as fiber, folate, and vitamins B6, C, and K. Plus, they have more potassium than bananas. Eating one avocado a day can significantly lower LDL levels and improve heart health, according to a new study from Penn State University. It’s actually pretty easy to work more avocadoes into your diet. Whether you slice up a whole one or mash a few into guacamole, avocadoes are great on sandwiches, in wraps, with eggs, and in pretty much any Mexican dish.
28. Avoid Trans Fat
We’ve been hearing this dietary advice for a while now, and thankfully, consumption of trans fat has declined from the margarine-slathered, McDonald’s-loving 1980s. But men are still eating too much of this synthetic garbage, which raises bad cholesterol, lowers good cholesterol, increases heart disease risk, and even impairs memory in guys under 45. A 2014 study shows that men, on average, still get 11 percent of their daily calories from trans fat — which is way too much. Even though many food companies have phased trans fat out of their products, it’s still widely used in fast food, frozen pizza, pastries, and low-fat versions of many foods. It even lurks in many packaged snacks that may seem somewhat healthy at first glance, so always read labels.
29. Back Away from Bacon
Saturated fat — and therefore red meat — is back on the okay-to-eat-in-moderation list. But this does not give you carte blanche to eat bacon, sausage, salami, or any other kind of processed meat. These sodium-packed products have far too much saturated fat for one meal — sometimes even too much for a whole day — and they almost always contain nitrates and nitrites, preservatives that can raise your risk of gastrointestinal cancer. It doesn’t take much processed meat to ransack your health. One 2014 study found that just three strips of bacon or one bratwurst can double your risk of dying from cardiovascular issues. Stick to small, lean cuts of unprocessed beef, pork, or lamb, and don’t indulge more than a few times per week.