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Preventing Heart Disease


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According to the National Center for Health Statistics 652,091 people died in 2005 of heart disease in the United States. This is nearly one hundred thousand more than caner and does not include stroke morbidity. Heart disease is in fact the leading cause of death in the United States killing more than five times as many people as die in accidents.

 

I have been thinking about this a lot of late. My father recently had bypass after a severe heart attack. His father died at a very young age of the same. The story is about the same on my mother’s side so I’m afraid my family history of heart disease is extreme. While I’ve always kept myself fit and ate well, I’ve never been proactively health-conscious nor ate healthy or diet-specific. There are a lot of claims like drinking a glass of red wine a day or taking an aspirin a day that I'm thinking about as well.

 

I’d love to hear anyone’s thoughts on this. I imagine anyone who's had to deal with heart disease would know much more about this than I. What would be the best diet for preventing heart problems? What supplements are a must? Are there any new diagnostic tools? And, oh yeah - what is so bad about the American diet that this is killing everybody?

 

~modest

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I don't have any family members with heart disease, but it doesn't mean I can't develop it, so I've been paying more attention to what I eat.

 

I'd say the best diet for preventing heart disease is one that is low in bad fats and salt, and high in good fats, fruits, vegetables, wholegrains. Don't eat processed foods. Exercise. Drink water, tea and a glass of red wine. Adopt a mediterranean diet.

 

Mediterranean diet for heart health - MayoClinic.com

Red wine and resveratrol: Good for your heart? - MayoClinic.com

Heart Healthy Diet Tips - Heart Disease and Other Cardiovascular Conditions on MedicineNet.com

 

 

When grocery shopping, opt for healthy food items, such as:

 

Fruits and vegetables

Oily fish

Garlic

Oats

Pulses

Wholegrains

Nuts and seeds

Olive oil

 

Try to include these nutrients regularly:

  • Vitamin C: protects against oxidative damage. Examples include, citrus fruits, black currants, kiwi fruit, raspberries, melon, peppers, broccoli, and brussel sprouts.
  • Vitamin E: acts as an antioxidant particularly for fats; may improve circulation. Sources include, oils and margerines, fats of meats, chicken, fish, wheat germ, spinach, kale, nuts, sunflower seeds, and avocado.
  • Vitamin K: necessary for normal blood clotting. Sources include, spinach, salad greens, cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, soybean oil, canola oil, and margarines.
  • Folate: helps maintain good heart health. Sources include, fortified cereals, cereals, vegetables (broccoli, legumes, leafy veggies), fruit (oranges), and pulses.
  • Selenium: acts as an antioxidant. Sources include, seafood, poultry, eggs, walnuts, lentils, sunflower seeds, and fish (tuna, sardines, salmon, cod, and sole).
  • Monounsaturated fatty acids: heart healthy type of fat. Sources include, olive oil, rapeseed oil, and groundnut oil.
  • Soluble fiber: may help to reduce blood cholesterol. Sources include, oats, pulses, fruits and vegetables.
  • Rich in omega-3s: known to be very beneficial for heart health. Sources include, salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, trout, and fresh tuna

Heart Disease - Are Vitamin and Mineral Supplements Necessary for a Healthy Heart?

Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living - MayoClinic.com

 

Also check out this site for more info. Do a search for "heart disease":

WHFoods: Site Search

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Thank you Monomer.

 

I've been going through these links and there's some really fantastic information there. I can tell ya, I'm going to have a hard time staying away from unhealthy trans fats. Butter, milk, and cheese have been a cornerstone of my diet - along with red meat :eek:

 

I've been talking with my aunt (who is very health conscious) about this. She was impressing upon me the benefits of the traditional Asian diet and it's striking to me how much it has in common with the Mediterranean diet you are advocating above. The Asian food pyramid:

 

 

Looks like I'm going to be buying a lot more noodles, rice, vegetables, fruit and fish.

 

Thanks again for the info :)

 

~modest

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I've been going through these links and there's some really fantastic information there. I can tell ya, I'm going to have a hard time staying away from unhealthy trans fats. Butter, milk, and cheese have been a cornerstone of my diet - along with red meat :eek:

 

I don't eat much red meat, but I *love* cheese, and I just can't eat my bread/toast without butter. I do drink soy milk though :)

 

I've been talking with my aunt (who is very health conscious) about this. She was impressing upon me the benefits of the traditional Asian diet and it's striking to me how much it has in common with the Mediterranean diet you are advocating above. The Asian food pyramid:

 

 

Wow, that's interesting, I've never seen it before. I hadn't really thought of the traditional asian diet, but it's definitely something to consider.

 

Just found this:

MediterrAsian.com - Showcasing the Mediterranean diet and the Asian diet

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