Heart Health: What you should be eating to prevent heart disease

Heart Health

About half of America’s adult population has a chronic medical condition that could have been prevented had better nutrition been consumed. Heart disease, in all its forms, including coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, cardiac arrest or stroke, can invariably trace its origins to what we eat. Both the quality and quantity of foods consumed matter when assessing a person’s risk of succumbing to this possibly fatal medical condition.

The most common goal of heart-healthy diets is to avoid saturated fats which give rise to plaque build-up in your arteries and constrict blood flow. This puts pressure on your heart to pump more vigorously. If plaque build-up is too intense your arteries can rupture and cause severe internal bleeding and blood loss. That blood loss is what causes strokes, and in case of continued overworked heart organs, lead to cardiac arrest, and possible death.

Adopt a Holistic Approach to Eating and Heart Disease Prevention

However, there are several aspects to heart health including exercise, weight control, quitting smoking, and leading a generally stress-free life. That, in short, is the essence of the acclaimed Mediterranean diet, ranked as the world’s most heart-healthy diet by US News Weekly, for 2019. There are reams of scientific evidence that proves that people in the Mediterranean region lead more chronic-disease-free lives than the average American.

Some Myths Regarding Heart-Healthy Diets

So what should you be eating to prevent, control, or manage heart disease? “There are many myths around what you can eat as a staple food when suffering from a heart condition. For example, egg consumption without limits is advised by some nutritionists. However, the reality is that the cholesterol content in the typical egg yolk is beyond 200 mg per day restriction recommended by the American Heart Association. Similarly, butter is often promoted as being better than margarine. But light tub margarine is trans-fat free whereas butter isn’t. Trans-fats are known to be one of the biggest risk factors of coronary artery disease”, says Dr. Janet Bond Brill, Ph.D., RDN, FAND, LDN, well-known nutrition and fitness expert, award-winning author, and creator of the platform

Moreover, a heart-healthy diet does not have to be bland or tasteless. The Mediterranean diet is filled with motivationally delicious, tastefully uplifting recipes and foods. 

Dr. Janet’s Heart Healthy Mediterranean Meal Plan

  • A typical heart-healthy Mediterranean breakfast consists of whole grains, fresh berries, nuts, flax seeds, Greek Yogurt, soy or milk.
  • Nuts and Greek Yogurt also make for a great late morning snack. Apples, cannellini bean dips with pita sauce, veggies with hummus dips, and/or nectarine are other mouth-watering options for between-meal foods.
  • A typical Mediterranean lunch may consist of bananas, whole wheat bread, tomato soups, salads, brown rice, tuna and tofu. Make your own recipes with these items, and add other fruits, such as melon.
  • Dinner may consist of mixed greens, soups, salmon and lentils, more salads, shrimp and other shellfish, whole grain pasta, olives, tomatoes, and eggplants.
  • At any time when you feel like taking liquids instead of solids for food, you can have green tea, dark chocolate or a hot chocolate with milk.

You can get detailed meal plans, diet charts, and exercise routines recommended by Dr. Janet at the mediterraneannutritionist.com. You can also talk to Dr. Janet over the phone for personalized consultation services. Check out Dr. Janet’s Mediterranean page today!

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