Can Diet Changes Treat Certain Heart Conditions?
We know that for people suffering from Type 2 diabetes, changes to your diet act as a treatment of the disease. But what about diet as a treatment for heart disease? If you are looking for a natural way to prevent and treat some heart conditions, look no further than your pantry or local supermarket. In this brief article, the top cardiologist in Tampa, Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC, will explain the ways you can use food to boost your heart health.
Food as Heart Disease Prevention
A balanced diet plays a major role in heart disease prevention. This doesn’t mean you have to embark on a vegan only diet or give up foods you love entirely, although you should limit salty and sugary foods. However, it does mean that you should eat more fruits and vegetables and other “whole” foods.
For example, eat fewer processed foods but boost your intake of whole grains, fruits and vegetables (minus the oil you might be tempted to use to fry or saute them), salmon and other good protein, and try adding more legumes into your diet. A few foods to avoid include sugary yogurts, artificial flavorings, fried foods, and foods with trans fats or high amounts of saturated fats.
Experts say that eating a heart healthy diet results in a:
35% lower risk of heart or stroke-related death
14% lower risk of heart attack
28% lower risk of heart failure
19% lower risk of stroke
Can Food Repair Damage Already Done to the Heart?
Now for the big question: Can food repair the damage that is already done to your heart? Researchers say yes.
Mahshid Dehghan, PhD, research associate at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, recently stated in an article on WebMD: “Eating fruits and vegetables substantially reduces cardiovascular disease recurrence over and above medication alone.”
In a study of over 31,000 people, it was found that eating a heart healthy diet significantly lowered the risk of having a recurrence of stroke, heart attack, or other heart-related problem, and combined with medication it was more effective than just using the medication alone.
What is the Best Diet for Heart Health?
A lot of people are tempted to look to fad diets as the best for heart health. But as stated above, the best diet is one that has whole foods and fewer processed foods. It is recommended to “shop the outside perimeter of the grocery store” -- meaning that you can find fruits and vegetables and meats along the perimeters of the store, while the boxed processed foods in the aisles in the middle should be avoided. The fewer boxes of dry, room temperature food in your cart the better.
If you would like specific help finding the right diet for your heart health or are looking for heart care in Tampa, contact Dr. Popat to schedule an appointment today.
To consult Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC, a top cardiologist in Tampa, please call (813) 344-0934 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.
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