We can heal the heart and prevent causes of heart disease by lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, lowering blood sugar and making a change in lifestyle. But the real question is what leads to high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar in the first place.
It is the way we eat, how you exercise, how you deal with stress and the effects of environmental toxins, which are the main causes of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar. This is what determines the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Studies clearly show that changing the way we live is a much more powerful intervention to prevent cardiovascular disease than any other drug.
In a study of 23 000 people, experts explored four simple behaviors: smoking, exercising 3.5 hours a week, a healthy diet (fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and limited amounts of meat), and maintaining a healthy weight (BMI <30), leading to a 93% reduction of diabetes, 81% of heart attacks, 50% of strokes and 36% of all cancers.
Our lifestyle and environment affect the underlying causes and biological mechanisms leading to disease: changes in gene expression that modulate inflammation, oxidative stress and metabolic dysfunction. These are the real reasons that make us sick.
Dietary recommendations for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
The first step to prevent heart disease is to eat a healthy diet. Increase your consumption of foods rich in phytonutrients, and plant molecules that give your body the nutrients it needs. Here are some practical tips:
1. To avoid imbalance in blood sugar, which increases the risk for heart disease, eat protein with every meal, even at breakfast. This will help to avoid sudden increases in your blood sugar.
2. Use lean animal proteins such as fish, turkey, chicken, lean cuts of lamb and even vegetable protein, such as nuts, beans and tofu.
3. Combine proteins, fats and carbohydrates at each meal. Never eat carbs alone.
4. For the same reason, avoid white flour and sugar.
5. Eat foods that are rich in fiber, ideally no more than 50 grams a day. Beans, whole grains, vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruits all contain beneficial fiber.
6. Avoid all processed foods, including soft drinks, juices and diet drinks that affect blood sugar and lipid metabolism. Liquid calories and sugar are the biggest players in obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
7. Increase your omega-3 fatty acids by eating wild salmon, sardines, herring, flax seed and even algae.
8. Reduce your saturated fat intake.
9. Eliminate all hydrogenated fats, which are found in margarine, processed oils, pasta and many processed foods.
10. Instead, use healthy oils like olive oil (especially extra virgin olive oil), cold pressed sesame oil or other nut butters.
11. Avoid or reduce alcohol, which can increase your triglycerides and create an imbalance in your blood sugar.
12. Do not let yourself go hungry. Eat every four hours to keep your insulin and blood sugar normal.
13. Try not to eat three hours before bedtime.
14. Have a good breakfast with protein every day. You can start with a protein shake or eggs.
15. Include flaxseed every day in your food. It can reduce cholesterol by 18%.
16. Drink green tea, which can help lower cholesterol.
17. Use soy foods such as soy milk, edamame, tempeh and tofu, which can help lower cholesterol by 10%.
18. Eat at least eight to ten servings of colorful fruits and vegetables a day, which contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory molecules.