Our overall health and wellbeing is influenced by a whole myriad of factors. Some we have no power over, such as our age, genetics and injuries.

However, many others are due to choices we make. Diet is one such factor with certain foods lowering your risk for health problems and others raising it.

With this in mind many of us do our best to make healthy food choices where possible. However, modern life can make this difficult due to time and budget constraints.

But one doctor has urged people to make a conscious effort to pick healthier meals in a bid to help us live longer.

Cardiologist Doctor Daniel Hermann, from the US, revealed one of his favourite meals for this reason.

Speaking to Parade, Dr Hermann said: “What we put in our mouths daily has a tremendous impact on our health.

“In fact, the number one leading modifiable risk factor for death in the US is poor dietary choices.

“It’s really important to make good food choices to stay healthy, feel better and live longer.

“With our busy, chaotic lifestyles, it’s challenging to plan out meals and meal prep, so having some healthy go-to choices is practical and, obviously, good for your heart.”

So what is for dinner in Dr Hermann’s home?

He explained how his favourite choice is a fresh salad topped with grilled salmon.

“I love the freshness and lightness of the meal,” Dr Hermann said. “It’s delicious.”

It is not just tasty but nutrient-dense. “Fresh, leafy, green vegetables are loaded with vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants,” he continued.

“Salmon is also loaded with vitamins and contains omega-3 fatty acids that are known to improve lipid profiles and reduce arterial inflammation, which contributes to atherosclerosis.”

Atherosclerosis refers to a build-up of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on the artery walls making the vessels narrower.

This means it is more difficult for blood to flow through and can increase your risk for heart attacks and strokes.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating two servings of fish weekly – or 170 grams cooked – to lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Oily fish, such as salmon, are the most heart friendly.

However, Dr Hermann warned of a common pitfall when preparing salads.

“You should be very careful about salad dressings,” he said.

“They can be very high in calories and be a source of processed foods. Ultra-processed foods are a huge and, frankly, dangerous source of calories in the average American diet.

“Intake of processed foods is linked to cardiovascular disease, and it is one of the current leading causes of dementia.”

He added: “Your choices matter, which is super empowering. Even small healthy changes can yield big results.”

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