Your Best Diet for Heart Health

Unfortunately, a full two-thirds of American adults are overweight. The obesity crisis – and accumulation of unhealthy belly fat – gets even worse during midlife.

Even a few extra inches of fat around your waist (called “central obesity”) increases your risk of a heart attack, diabetes, or other disease. This belly fat doesn’t just sit there. It actually secretes hormones that not only stimulate your appetite, but also┬ástimulate the development of even more fat cells.

When it comes to eating “heart-healthy,” I recommend a modified plant-based diet that incorporates elements of the so-called Mediterranean diet. A plant-based diet concentrates on raw and cooked vegetables, fresh fruit, whole grains, and legumes (beans). The Mediterranean diet allows Greek-style yogurt, olives, goat cheese, and an occasional glass of red wine, lending variety and taste to your diet so you can stick to it.

Here are a few of my favorite diet tips:

  • Red meat should only be eaten on special occasions, and even chicken should be consumed in small portions. I recommend you get most of your animal-based protein from fish.
  • Fill up on vegetables and fruits before anything else. Unlike grains and meat, fruits and vegetables send a clear signal to your brain that you are full, and it’s time to stop eating.
  • When you are “dressing” a salad, use olive oil sparingly in a vinaigrette dressing. Put the dressing to the side, where you can just dip your fork into it as needed.

I realize it’s difficult to make these types of lifestyle changes. But if you are overweight, sedentary, and use poor eating habits – especially eating at fast food restaurants – you will get heart disease, period. So make a decision today to eat right in order to live a life that’s truly worth living. You deserve nothing less.

To Your Best Heart Health,

Chauncey W. Crandall, M.D., F.A.C.C.

Comments ( 4 )

  • Hiit

    I like your fantastic web site. Just what I was searching for!
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  • Keep working ,terrific job!

  • Russel Netzer

    After being very overweight for a while, I finally did something about it. I have now dropped almost 50 pounds. Thanks Doc!

  • Myles Burke

    Regarding your advice to eat fish. Recently when speaking to my fishmonger I discovered that most of the fish we find in the European market no longer comes from the sea, it is all farmed fish. He highlighted salmon in particular, where the fish are given high doses of penicillin because they are reared in a very resticted tank and continually injure one another. On that day he only had cod as a fish from the sea, the other 10+ varieties were all tank produced. This worries me, as I have been trying to eat fish 3-4 times per week, and now I am worried about contamination. In Europe all shop bought salmon is farmed, some are reared in farms placed in the sea, but overcrowding there is also intense. Soon we will be unable to buy any fish from the sea, as stocks are so low. How will thi impact your advice to eat more fish?

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