I Don't Recommend The American Heart Association's Diet Plan
Like many cardiologists and holistic practitioners, I used to recommend that my patients dealing with cardiovascular problems abide by the American Heart Association (AHA) guidelines for eating, which at the time featured very low fat coupled with high carbohydrates.
These guidelines made sense when they first came out, because we in the medical establishment were fairly certain that less fat down the hatch would result in less fat in the blood. In addition, carbohydrates were believed to be beneficial or, at the very least, harmless.
Instead, we found that by encouraging people to eat very little fat while indulging in carbohydrates, we actually created a plan for eating that led to excess secretion of the hormone insulin. Excess amounts of this hormone signal your body to store sugars and leftover carbohydrates as fat.
I saw many patients get hurt by low-fat, high-carb diets. Despite their best efforts, they would gain weight and become susceptible to insulin resistance and diabetes. By the mid-1990s, I knew there had to be a better way to eat.
My suspicions were confirmed when the results of the Lyon Heart Diet Study were published.
In the Lyon [France] trial, 605 heart attack survivors were assigned to eat either a Mediterranean-style diet or a low-fat diet then recommended by the AHA. Four years later, participants following the Mediterranean-style diet were 50 to 70 percent less likely to have had repeat cardiac events. Best of all, there had been no sudden deaths in this group.
The Mediterranean diet is smart cardiovascular nutrition. It helps to promote healthy cholesterol, a good triglycerides level, healthy blood pressure, and minimizes heart risk factors.
For more information on great cardiovascular nutrition, including delicious heart-healthy recipes, visit www.drsinatra.com.
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Meet Dr. Sinatra
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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