Diet is an important factor in heart disease. However, the issue of diet and nutrition is complex, as it is influenced by a range of social, cultural, economic and physiological factors, including the available food supply and its cost.
If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, what would it take to avoid a heart surgeon? Would you believe a good vitamin + mineral supplement + some omega-3 oil (canola-rapeseed, flax, fish)? Add a diet naturally high in fiber but low in processed food and hydrogenation hardened fats, and maintain a good lifestyle (in this order : 1. don't smoke, 2. control waist size, 3. manage stress well, 4. some exercise), and you will improve your general health and prevent or help heart disease.
A good multi is an Essential Food Group, your Ounce Of Prevention and Nutritional Seat-Belt . There is no research showing that avoiding multivitamins makes you healthier ... and it's the only easy life-style change you can make
DIET AND HEART HEALTH
Small changes to your eating and physical activity habits can make a big difference to your heart health.
Cardiovascular disease is still Australia’s leading cause of death for both men and women. In addition, the overweight and obesity epidemic continues to grow rapidly and now more than half of our adult population is overweight or obese, which increases the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure and Type 2 diabetes. But the good news is you can reduce your risk of heart disease, as well as achieve and maintain a healthy weight, by making small changes to your lifestyle.
Combine regular physical activity with healthy eating to help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight, and look after your heart.
HEALTHY EATING FOR HEART CARE
Healthy eating is not ‘dieting’ and is not about following strict rules. Instead the emphasis is on enjoyment and nourishment.
Healthy eating is about choosing:
- mainly plant-based foods — vegetables, fruit and legumes (dried peas, dried beans and lentils) and grain based foods (preferably wholegrain) such as bread, pasta, noodles and rice;
- moderate amounts of lean meats, skinless poultry, fish and reduced fat dairy products; and
- moderate amounts of polyunsaturated or monounsaturated oils and fats.
Foods that can prevent heart disease:
Seafood, Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts, Grains, Legumes, onions, garlic, olive oil, alcohol in moderation, foods high in Vitamin C, E and Beta Carotene.
Foods that can damage arteries and the heart:
Meats and dairy foods high in saturated fat, excessive alcohol
Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Emphasize foods that are rich in the antioxidant substances (beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, and selenium) that fight free radicals. Enjoy fruits, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, dark leafy greens, alfalfa sprouts, and whole-grain products. Studies have shown that those who ate five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day had a 39-percent lower risk of stroke than those who did not.
Include grapes, eggplant, and red cabbage in your menu
Avoid stimulants such as coffee and black tea that contain caffeine. Coffee increases stress hormones in the body, putting coffee drinkers at greater risk of heart disease. Also avoid tobacco, alcohol, chocolate, sugar, butter, red meat, fats (particularly animal fats and hydrogenated oils), fried foods, processed and refined foods, soft drinks, spicy foods, and white flour products, such as white bread.
Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day.
Include almonds, brewer's yeast, grains, and sesame seeds in your diet.
Enjoy onions frequently. Onions (especially red onions) contain valuable antioxidants. Chop them and allow them to stand for ten minutes before cooking for optimal benefit.
Eliminate all sources of sodium from your diet. Salt contains sodium, which increases fluid retention and makes the heart work harder
The Omega-3 Fatty Acids -- Just Fish Oil?
What's the latest thinking on the omega-3 fatty acids found most often in fish oils? Do you think they prevent heart disease?
Omega-3 fatty acids are long chain fatty acids and usually contain three or more double bonds. They are found in marine products and some vegetable oils, such as soybean or canola. They have very little impact on blood cholesterol levels., but they can lower plasma triglyceride levels, especially in individuals who have elevated triglyceride levels. This is particularly important because when plasma triglyceride levels go down, the HDL (the good cholesterol) level goes up.
If you eat more fish as an entrée, you will also displace high saturated fat meat from your diet, so you'll benefit both from the effects of more omega-3 fatty acids and less saturated fat intake