The Efficacy of Diet and Supplements to Reduce Cardiovascular Disease
It has long been known that diet plays a role in overall health, and when it comes to cardiovascular disease, diet can play a significant role. Supplements too can have their place in improving heart health. Let’s look at the foods and supplements to consider if you are at risk for cardiovascular disease.
Heart Healthy Foods
Fish is high in omega 3 fatty acids. Fish can help increase HDL or healthy cholesterol as well as decrease triglyceride levels and decrease inflammation.
Extra-virgin olive oil EVO is rich in polyphenols. Consuming at least 1-3 tablespoons of olive oil per day has been shown to have positive effects on systolic and diastolic blood pressure, endothelial function, inflammation and oxidative stress. Neither safflower or sunflower oil, which are rich in polyunsaturated fats have the same benefit. The number of polyphenols seem to be important for enhancing the beneficial effects. Polyphenols are found in higher levels in extra virgin olive oils.
Nut consumption has been shown to reduce cardiovascular risk by 35%. Nuts can also lower triglyceride levels, apo B, inflammation and LDL oxidation as well as improve vascular reactivity. Studies have shown cardiovascular benefit increases with consumption of 1 oz. once a week. Most potent cholesterol lowering nuts include walnuts, pistachios, almonds, pecans, and macadamia nuts.
Green tea is high in polyphenols which can help lower inflammation, oxidative stress as well as help with immune regulation.
A recent study published in European Heart Journal reports that people who ate an average of 7.5 grams of chocolate a day were 27 percent less likely to have heart attacks and 48 percent were less likely to have strokes. I recommend 1 to 2 squares daily but make sure it is 70% dark chocolate.
Rice Bran Rice bran oil contains heart healthy phytochemicals.
Pomegranate Pomegranate is rich in antioxidant’s helps to reduce oxidative stress.
Garlic helps with strengthening the arteries and reducing blood pressure.
Supplements can also play a part in helping support overall health and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. It’s best to work with your doctor, nutritionist or IFPCP to discuss what would work best for you.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
How to Plan your Diet
Consume the calories your body needs to maintain your weight
Eat less than 10% of your diet from saturated fat
Keep your salt intake low
Consume 35-40 grams of fiber a day
Eat 2-3 fruit servings a day
Eat 8 servings of veggies a day
Eat fish twice a week with one of the options being an oily fish
For a more individualized approach contact me at 804-254-1002 to schedule an assessment to determine which is the best food plan for your specific needs.
Until next time...remember to eat well and move.