Eat Well for Heart Health

by Dr. Stephen Sinatra
Filed Under: Heart Health, Food and Nutrition
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

The first step in your action plan for treating cardiovascular problems is to live a lifestyle free of the heart risk factors that increase the likelihood that you’ll be affected. eat well for heart health

By that, I mean avoid smoking, follow a program of good healthy heart nutrition, keep your blood sugar low, maintain a healthy weight, and manage your stress. These same lifestyle changes can also help you maintain the best possible quality of life should cardiovascular problems affect you.

Pay Attention To What You Eat

What you eat has a direct effect on your cardiovascular system and whether or not you’ll experience cardiovascular problems. That’s why you should avoid sugar, sodas, sweets, refined carbohydrates, and trans fats (e.g., fried foods, partially hydrogenated oil) as much as possible. They are, without a doubt, the biggest enemies of a healthy cardiovascular system because they ramp up the level of inflammation in your body. Fortunately, what you eat can also help to reduce inflammation.

After a great deal of research, I’ve concluded that the best way overall diet for your heart and arteries combines a high-fiber, healthy-fat, Mediterranean-type diet with traditional Asian cuisine. I call this approach to eating the Pan-Asian Modified Mediterranean (or PAMM) diet. This diet, which is high in vegetables, legumes, fruits, fish, garlic, nuts, olive oil, and soy products, helps you to attain good cholesterol levels, maintains healthy blood pressure, promotes weight loss, and prevents spikes in insulin, which can cause artery-damaging inflammation.
 

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