Heart Health Tips From a Top Cardiologist
Cut through the heart health confusion. Get tips from a cardiologist about diet, lifestyle, and more.
Your grandmother, father, and cousin may have heart disease, but even with a
strongly inherited predisposition to the condition you can cut your risks
dramatically by pursuing a heart healthy lifestyle -- and it's easier than you
Over 800,000 Americans died from heart attacks and other cardiac illnesses
lasts year, but most of those deaths -- four out of five -- were preventable.
With a few key tips from a world-renowned heart expert you can be on your way
to building a healthy heart that will last a lifetime.
Do You Eat What's Best for a Healthy Heart?
Chocolate is bad for your heart. No, it's good. Wine is unhealthy. No, it's
healthy. Pack your plate with protein and cut back on bread to lose weight.
With all the mixed messages about "good" and "bad" foods in
the media, it's not surprising that many people just give up trying to figure
out what they should eat. If you're confused, you're not alone.
"Our research has shown that the No. 1 thing people are confused about
when it comes to heart health is what the best diet is," says preventive
cardiologist Lori Mosca, MD, founder of Columbia University Medical Center's
Preventive Cardiology Program and author of Heart to Heart: A Personal Plan
for Creating a Heart-Healthy Family. "Every week there's a conflicting
research study or a new book that refutes last year's book."
Forget the competing headlines -- the best way to eat heart healthy is to
follow national guidelines from organizations like the American Heart
Association. "These are established by experts who monitor research, and
are not focused on the latest fads and trends. It's actually much simpler than
people realize," Mosca says.
5 Simple Steps to a Heart Healthy Diet
Ready to step up to a diet rich in the healthy nutrients your heart craves?
The experts recommend staring here:
- Eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fiber.
- Eat fish at least twice a week.
- Limit how much saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol you eat. Only 30%
of your daily calories should come from fat, with very little of that from
- Select fat-free, 1% fat, and low-fat dairy products.
- Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to
reduce trans fat in your diet.
- Limit your salt intake.
One way to make sure that your diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, and
fiber, and low in saturated fats, is to divide your plate at each meal: half
vegetables, 1/4 high-quality protein (like legumes -- terrific sources of
protein and great for a healthy heart!), and 1/4 for fish or a very lean
And remember, you should get your nutrients from foods themselves, the
antioxidants and other heart-healthy goodies found in foods like blueberries,
beans, and artichokes don't pack the same punch when they're not in food
And avoid fad diets, advises Mosca. "Almost every one may result in
short-term weight loss but leave you weighing even more a year later,
and preventing weight gain is one of the best ways to prevent developing heart
disease risk factors."