Simple Diet Changes that can Help Prevent Heart Attacks

Posted by Peter Crowell on Feb 23, 2015 10:43:00 AM

Changing Your Diet May Prevent a Heart Attack

Powerful results from long-term studies indicate that people who change their diets for the better after suffering a heart attack are much less likely to die of heart disease or suffer another cardiac event.

tomato_saladIn fact, adopting a heart-healthy diet proved to have similar success in risk reduction as taking statin drugs.

These simple changes to your diet could help to reduce your risk for a heart attack:changing your diet may prevent a heart attack.

Choose olive oil instead of butter

Butter is loaded with saturated fats, which can raise your “bad” LDL cholesterol and lead to an increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Olive oil is much lower in saturated fat and also contains lots of poly- and monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to lower LDL levels when eaten in moderation.

Choose veggies instead of crackers

Many crackers we find on the shelves of today’s supermarkets contain trans fats, also known as partially hydrogenated oil. These fats are artificially produced and can greatly increase your risk for heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. Fresh cut veggies make a great snack-time alternative, contain no fat, and help you reach your daily fiber goals.

Choose salmon instead of beef

Red and fatty/marbled meats are high in saturated fat and cholesterol and tend to be calorically dense. When you’re out at a restaurant, go for the salmon option instead! Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to lower triglycerides.

Choose herbs instead of salt

Excess sodium in the diet over time can raise blood pressure and increase your risk of cardiac-related death. Instead of reaching for the salt shaker, try using herbs, such as garlic, basil, rosemary, oregano, and cayenne pepper to add extra flavor to your food. Lemon juice also makes a great marinade for lean meats and veggies.

Choose whole grains instead of refined grains

As the name implies, whole grains, such as oatmeal and brown rice, are those that contain the entire grain. Refined grains, on the other hand, have been processed, removing valuable nutrients. Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber, which can help reduce cholesterol and reduce risk of heart disease. Good examples include whole wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice, bulgar, quinoa, and barley.

Choose flavored water instead of fruit juice

When we think of heart healthy diets, we often forget to think about sugar intake. Recent studies have shown that excess sugar in the diet can raise triglyceride and total cholesterol levels. Most fruit juices are loaded with added sugars that can negatively impact your heart health. Instead, choose flavored seltzer or water infused with fresh fruits!


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Review Date: January 23, 2015
Reviewed By: Nora Minno, RD, CDN
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Topics: Wellness, Cardiology

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Perspectives highlights the expertise and services provided by the physicians, specialists, nurses and other healthcare providers at Einstein Healthcare Network. Through this blog, we share information about new treatments and technologies, top-tier clinical teams and the day-to-day interactions that reinforce our commitment to delivering quality care with compassion. Here, you will also find practical advice for championing your health and wellness.

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