If your heart doctor has diagnosed you with a cardiovascular condition such as heart disease or valve disease, you may be taking medications and exploring other treatment options. Although it’s critical to follow your cardiologist’s treatment plan, it’s also advisable to consider lifestyle modifications in addition to therapeutic interventions. Your diet has a direct effect on your heart health. If you are looking for a great diet, the Mediterranean diet is something you should really consider. Talk to your cardiologist about your usual diet and find ways of improving it.
Most Americans eat far too much added sugar from sources such as processed foods, sports drinks, and gourmet coffee. Eating a diet high in sugar has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease due to higher triglyceride levels and high blood pressure. Cardiologists recommend limiting the amount of added sugar you eat to no more than six teaspoons daily for women or no more than nine teaspoons for men.
Worst: Trans Fat
Trans fat is found naturally in animal products; however, manufacturers also add it to processed foods. It’s harmful for your heart because it raises levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which is the harmful type of cholesterol. It also lowers levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which is the beneficial type.
Best: Whole Grains
If your diet contains plenty of whole grains, you could have a reduced risk of heart disease. Whole grains boost your heart health because they are high in fiber, which improves cholesterol levels. They also contain antioxidants, phytosterols, and phytoestrogens, which ward off coronary disease.
Instead of eating a burger, consider broiling some fish. Cardiologists recommend eating two or more servings of fish each week, especially oily fish such as salmon. The omega-3 fatty acids can reduce your blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
For more help making healthy lifestyle modifications to improve your cardiovascular condition, schedule an appointment at Cardiac Solutions. Our cardiology team will work closely with you to develop a plan that suits your needs. Call our cardiology clinics in Avondale, Glendale, Peoria, or Sun City West at (623) 208-5305 with any questions you may have.