Central Kentucky Cardiology

Healthy Heart Diet

n order to maintain your heart health, it is important to follow a healthy heart diet. There are many different foods that you should avoid or limit, and still other foods and nutrients that you should try to include as much as possible.

Changing your eating habits can significantly lower your chances of developing heart disease.

What should you avoid or decrease intake of to lower risk of heart disease?

You should try to stay away from the trans fats and hydrogenated oils found in processed and refined foods. Margarines and spreads have trans fats, as do fried and fast foods. Trans fats and hydrogenated oils are chemically altered, and as such the body is not able to process them and they can be dangerous.

Also, try to reduce your sugar intake from snacks, cakes, candy bars, etc. as these sugars eventually become fat buildup in the body. Also, try to keep your carbohydrate intake at a minimum (pasta, potatoes, breads) as excess carbohydrates stimulate the production of triglycerides (fat) which are one of the four indicators of heart disease.

What should I add to my diet to keep my heart and cardiovascular system in healthy working order?

A heart health diet should include fiber, fruits and vegetables. Green, leafy vegetables and Vitamin C rich fruits are the best, as they can protect you against heart disease with their antioxidant abilities.

Healthy heart recipes should include extra virgin olive oil and garlic - both have been shown to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

Add Omega 3 fatty acids to your diet, especially DHA and EPA found in fish oil. These two important Omega 3 fatty acids are the most therapeutic, and can significantly decrease bad cholesterol(LDL) as well as raise good cholesterol(HDL).

Can I get all of these healthy heart nutrients from my diet?

Unfortunately with today's processing methods, most of the important nutrients in the foods we eat are depleted or removed altogether. So unless you follow a strict healthy heart diet of organic foods harvested in the finest environments which are delivered fresh to your door daily (we didn't think so), it makes sense to supplement all of the important nutrients your body needs to function properly.

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