Author: Ajay Mhatre, M.D., FACC
New diet trends appear almost as fast as you can refresh your web browser. We are constantly presented with the latest health trends from bloggers, social media, and YouTube broadcasters – not to mention our own friends and family. Oftentimes, these diets focus on a single goal. The goal may be weight loss, more energy, or an organic grocery list. However, there’s one aspect of healthy eating that everyone should consider: how the diet affects the heart.
Phoenix Cardiologist on Eating a Heart Healthy Diet
Whether you follow the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet, or are simply try to eat a heart-healthy diet without following a strict rulebook, I hope you will consider the following key components of your diet:
- Fiber. Fiber isn’t just for your digestive system; it also plays a critical role in your cardiovascular system by reducing the amount of cholesterol that’s absorbed into the blood stream. Meeting your daily-recommended fiber intake can moderately lower LDL cholesterol.
- Potassium. This chemical helps lower systolic blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure. Bananas and avocados are two popular sources of potassium.
- Monounsaturated Fat. Speaking of avocado, your heart receives the additional benefit of lower LDL cholesterol when you eat this source of monounsaturated fats.
- Phytochemicals. Lastly, there are many, many phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables that can reduce inflammation, reduce risk of atherosclerosis, and provide other benefits. Antioxidant-rich berries are especially good sources of phytochemicals.
In summary, eat your fruits and vegetables… and avoid fast food. A recent study found, “Eating junk food kills stomach bacteria which protect against obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, inflammatory bowel conditions and autism[…]” According to researchers at King’s College London, a 10-day diet of fast food reduced 3,500 microbial species in the human gut down to 2,200 species, suggesting fast food may kill the healthy microbes that the body needs for good health!
Schedule Your Appointment With a Cardiologist in Phoenix
Do you want to learn more about how you can start eating a heart-healthy diet? Find out what options may be available to you by scheduling an appointment with a Phoenix cardiologist at Phoenix Heart Center.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.