Eat these foods to protect your heart

Editor’s Note: Laser Spine Institute supports the American Heart Association and Go Red for Women. In honor of American Heart Month, Laser Spine Institute is posting a blog each Monday throughout February to create awareness about heart health.

Heart disease touches almost every single American. Some have suffered a heart attack or stroke, while others have lost loved ones to the disease. Understanding the risks and causes associated with heart disease could, literally, save your life.

Keeping your heart healthy should be your top concern. Many risks associated with heart disease can be prevented or controlled through proper diet. Christopher H. Wilson, DO, FACC, The Heart Institute, says that some conditions may contribute to heart disease. The conditions include:

  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes, which is the biggest risk factor for the development of heart disease. If you have diabetes, we automatically assume you have coronary disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity, which is a huge risk factor and part of the reason why mortality has gone up over the years

According to Dr. Wilson, sticking to a “low fat diet will help keep your cholesterol down” and control other high-risk conditions such high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

He recommends that you avoid fatty foods, sodium, sugar and carbohydrates.

“Carbohydrates are ultimately converted to sugars,” he said. “Over time, eating a lot of carbohydrates can lead to pre-diabetes and diabetes. If you eat carbohydrates, look for foods with a higher fiber content.”

Dr. Wilson also recommends that you eat healthy foods such as lean meats, like chicken and fish, fruits and veggies and healthy fats and oils. He also suggests filling up on foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as fish.

“You can also help control or prevent conditions by practicing portion control,” he said.

Healthy eating will help prevent heart disease. If you have high cholesterol, diabetes or high blood pressure, work with your physician to help control your condition and prevent heart disease.

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