Heart Disease Treatment
The following therapies are recommended as ongoing support for your heart. Heart Disease Treatment: They are not treatments for a heart attack. If you suspect that you’re having a heart attack, get emergency medical help immediately.
Diet (Heart Disease Treatment)
When most people think of diets to prevent or reverse heart disease, they think of reducing cholesterol and fat. In reality, many other factors must be taken into account, such as an adequate intake of “good” fats, fiber, and antioxidants. A hearthealthy diet, in fact, is much like the basic wholesome eating plan this book suggests for almost everyone.
A whole-foods, plant-based diet (with the addition of fish) has been shown to sweep away arterial plaque. Your meals should emphasize vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, with soy products, beans, and fish for protein. People who require a higher-protein diet can add more lean poultry to their menu.
Highly reactive molecules known as free radicals are closely linked to heart disease. Foods that contain antioxidants will help prevent damage caused by free radicals, so eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables every day.
Essential fatty acids are “good” fats that actually protect the heart and help the rest of the body function smoothly. Essential fatty acids are found in cold-water fish like halibut, salmon, and mackerel; raw nuts (excluding peanuts); olive oil; and flaxseeds.
Eat lots of fiber. A whole-foods diet will automatically increase your fiber intake, but if you need more, include oat bran or flaxseeds with your meals.
Garlic and onions reduce levels of bad cholesterol and lower the blood pressure. They make excellent additions to low-fat meals, like vegetable stir-fries, clear soups, and bean dishes.
The skins of red or purple grapes help clear the arteries of plaque. Have a glass of purple grape juice daily.
Potassium and magnesium are heart-protective minerals. Good sources include green vegetables, whole grains, wheat germ, soybeans, garlic, legumes, bok choy, and potatoes. Sea salt, listed previously, is another good choice.
Follow the Mediterranean diet, which includes the following:
• High consumption of fruits, vegetables, grains, potatoes, beans, nuts, and seeds
• Olive oil
• Low to moderate amounts of dairy, fish, and poultry
• Little red meat
• Eggs zero to four times a week
• Wine in low to moderate amounts
Food to Avoid
If you have heart disease, you must eliminate or drastically reduce your consumption of harmful fats (trans-fatty acids, or hydrogenated fats). Sweet baked goods, for instance, are likely to contain eggs and butter, as well as other fats and oils.
Don’t make the mistake of substituting margarine or vegetable shortening for butter. These products are made with oils that have been artificially processed under high heat. This processing creates mutated molecules, called trans-fatty acids, that are most likely even worse for your heart and cholesterol levels than saturated fats are. Heart Disease Treatment.
People who cut down on fat sometimes end up gorging themselves on non- and low-fat processed foods, especially packaged cookies and other sweets. Avoid this trap. These foods have little or no nutritional content, and they rely on sugar to make up for the elimination of fat. Excess sugar is tied to a number of health problems, and when used as a replacement for starch, it reduces the level of good, heart-protecting cholesterol.
Avoid simple sugars. Simple sugars cause elevated levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, C-reactive protein, insulin, and other markers that contribute to cardiovascular damage.
Radically reduce your consumption of sodium. Packaged and processed foods are by far the highest source of sodium in the Western diet, so stay away from them. A high sodium intake, combined with a low potassium intake, increases your likelihood of having high blood pressure.
A four-year study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that people following the Mediterranean diet could reduce their risk of a heart attack by as much as 70 percent.
The Mediterranean diet related with a lower incidence of coronary heart disease. It has also been shown to improve the prognosis of those with existing coronary heart disease. One study involved more than twenty-six hundred elderly people who had had a heart attack. Following a Mediterranean diet was associated with an 18 percent lower overall mortality rate than in those who followed a non-Mediterranean diet over a 6.7-year median follow-up.