A heart healthy diet would seem like a plan everyone would embrace. We've had years of discussion and rhetoric about health care reform and universal health coverage. Medical costs are going up exponentially. So why wouldn't everyone lock into a heart healthy diet? Why wouldn't everyone simply avoid the ingredients that lead to heart failure?
Because it isn't as much fun. It doesn't always taste as good and it isn't easy. We had to hear for years about the dangers of tobacco before we began to get the hint about cigarettes. There is still a major problem with tobacco. We know the results. It isn't even a question anymore. Tobacco usage is a killer.
But heart disease is still the number one killer. By a wide margin. So we're going to tackle that one. We'll start with what not to do. Or rather what not to eat.
When we seek information, we go to empowering books written by experts in their field. In this page, I'll give you some ideas to help you shape your own heart healthy diet.
Charles Platkin, PHD is a very well respected nutrition and public health advocate. He is also known as "The Diet Detective" and has written seven books.
His first book was a best seller titled "Breaking The Pattern." This edition has been used as a text by over 20 colleges and universities to teach behavioral change techniques to nutrition and diet counseling students. His most recent compilation is called "The Diet Detective's All American Diet".
I recently read something from Dr. Platkin about eight food ingredients that any heart healthy diet would avoid. I won't list all of them. I won't go into detail about the types of food coloring in which to steer clear. But I will list the big ones that are in front of most of us all the time.
Hydrogenated Oil... This is trans fats. Trans fats were created to replace saturated fat. But now we know trans fats are actually worse. Hydrogenated oil could be listed on an ingredient list as margarine or shortening, among other things.
Potassium Bromate... This ingredient that will surely set back your heart healthy diet is used in many baked breads, in particular breads made commercially. It has also been suggested as a cause of cancer. Potassium Bromate is actually banned in many countries, but as I write this, is legal in America.
Nitrates... These are used as preservatives in processed meats. I cannot stress in strong enough terms that a heart healthy diet must be free of processed foods. If all you take out of this page is to cut out that category of food choices and cut way back on sugar intake, I will have succeeded in getting most of the message through to you.
If you follow through on all of it, we'll have a home run. For you, because you will have greatly reduced your risk of cardiovascular system disease.
Sodium... This one is always linked to heart failure, high blood pressure, aneurysms and kidney failure. Sodium is found is many of the foods we eat. Soups and pastries for example.
Some fruits and vegetables have natural sodium as well. Again, moderation is the key here. Since many good heart healthy foods have some natural sodium, why not cut out the unnatural added sodium? Sort of an easy scale to read. Healthy heart diet or a cinnamon roll after lunch. Which one has the better return?
Sugar... This is one of the big ones. It could be called dextrose, fructose or corn syrup as well. By any name, sugar is sugar. It is without a doubt a major cause of obesity. Childhood obesity is rampant in our country. In fact obesity in general is a major cause of health issues. Type 2 diabetes numbers are exploding and the age of diagnosis is getting younger and younger.
Sugar addiction is without a doubt one of the biggest health challenges facing nearly everyone who lives off the "western diet." Another empowering book by Dr. David Perlmutter teaches us how excess carbs and far too much sugar is not only behind the dramatic rise in diabetes, but also is the driving force in dementia related diseases.
I would suggest that his book, "Grain Brain" should be added to your list of empowering books to be read as soon as possible. Evidence is pointing to the link between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. The cause of this link is difficult for many of us to accept.
Grain... This means all grain. White, wheat, all of it. Bagels, cereal, bread, etc. Did you know that two slices of bread has the same impact from a sugar overload standpoint as a can of soda?
This is a tough one to take. We've all grown up on bread, crackers and pizza crust. But the more we look into this subject the more we can see the links. It isn't a secret at all that cutting back on bread can help with weight loss. When we know how that grain packs on pounds, we begin to see how it could also begin to initiate the growth of very dangerous health challenges.
Sugar frosted cereals are placed in front of children at an early age. Soda for lunch along with processed foods and fast food later in the day. Is there any wonder we have a problem with the concept of a heart healthy diet?
We've gone over a short course on what to avoid in our quest for a heart healthy diet. It is confusing because advertising still promotes ideas that have been shown to be incorrect.
Please remember who pays for these commercials. In this link, you'll find part two of the program for a heart healthy diet. Please remember that there are good fats. Avocados are an example.
If you can find a local rancher who raises his beef without injections to promote rapid growth that leads to antibiotic resistance, you may have a good source for the occasional red meat. If he doesn't feed his animals with genetically modified grain, you'll have a real good source.
Here is a link with some more information on sugar, carbs and heart healthy diet ideas,
I'll give you another tip. This one is from renowned nutritionist Adele Davis. "Eat breakfast like a king. Eat lunch like a prince. Eat dinner like a pauper." She suggests that you consume 80% of your daily calories before 2:00 pm each day.