Eat This Way For Good Cardiovascular Nutrition
After a great deal of research, I’ve concluded that the best overall diet for healthy blood pressure, healthy cholesterol, healthy triglycerides and to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke is a combination of Mediterranean and Asian eating.
In essence, this combines the healthy eating of Mediterranean cultures with the Asian emphasis on soy foods and seaweed. They have in common an absence of saturated and hydrogenated fats and an emphasis on fish and vegetables. There’s a remarkable amount of research to back up this healthy and delicious approach to nutrition. And best of all, it’s not really a “diet” so much as a lifestyle choice.
My Pan-Asian, Modified-Mediterranean (PAMM) Diet
I have been a proponent of the modified Mediterranean diet for years—even before it became fairly mainstream. In recent years, I’ve expanded that foundation to include the Japanese diet, because I believe that combined, they deliver the best of both worlds. They share an absence of saturated and hydrogenated fats and emphasize fish and vegetables. However, while Mediterranean people do not consume a lot of soy or seaweed, the Asians do.
I decided to call this updated approach to healthy eating the PAMM diet. It includes fresh fruits and vegetables in season, fish, and whole grains. Meat is used sparingly, often just enough for flavoring. Meals are based on numerous small portions for lots of variety, and the lightest meal is at the end of the day, when the body is quieter and the metabolism slower.
My PAMM eating plan includes 45 to 50 percent slow-burning, low-glycemic index carbohydrates; 30 percent healthy fats; and 25 percent protein. I’d also urge you to eat organic as much as possible.
Moderate Carbohydrates, More Protein and Healthy Fats
In a nutshell, the Mediterranean diet encourages eating cold-water fish such as salmon and halibut; “healthy fats” such as olive oil; low-glycemic carbohydrates such as beans, lentils, and oatmeal; and plenty of fruits, vegetables and nuts.
Instead of eating large chunks of meat, Mediterranean people use meat to flavor their sauces. At most meals, they eat fiber-rich fruits and vegetables teeming with phytonutrients and packed with vitamins, carotenoids, flavonoids, polyphenols and monounsaturated fats crucial to well-being and cardiac health. Their diets are naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids, coenzyme Q10, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
The Mediterranean diet can help balance blood sugar and insulin levels and give you more energy. My patients report that they consistently feel better and experience a better quality of life.
For more information on cardivascular nutrition, visit www.drsinatra.com.
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Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist and nutritionist with more than 30 years of clinical practice, research, and study. His integrative approach to heart health focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy. More About Dr. Sinatra
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