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Eat Smart for Your Heart

Eat Smart for Your Heart

January 09, 2023 Posted in: Health & Wellness  2 minute read time

 

A heart-healthy diet doesn’t have to be bland and boring.

Most people don’t experience heart attacks until midlife or older, but the fatty plaque that causes them can start building up in your arteries as early as childhood. That’s why it’s important for your whole family to eat a heart-healthy diet, like the Mediterranean or DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet.

“We have extensive research to show these diets reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Thomas Goff, MD, cardiologist at CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group – Cardiology. “These diets are high in fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, whole grains, nuts, legumes and vegetable oils. They support moderate intake of low-fat dairy and seafood, and limit intake of processed foods, refined carbohydrates, sugar-sweetened beverages and sodium.”

Getting Started With a New Diet

Unlike trendy weight loss diets such as the ketogenic (keto) diet, switching to the Mediterranean or DASH diet might not result in immediate weight loss, but the long-term health benefits of your new eating habits are worth it.

Start making simple changes, like replacing ground beef with ground turkey or chicken, using spiraled zucchini instead of noodles and snacking on kale chips instead of potato chips.

“I also always encourage my patients to shop the perimeter of the grocery,” Dr. Goff said. “When you start to travel down the aisles you get into the processed foods and refined sugars, which should be avoided.”

Need tips on sticking to a heart-healthy diet? CHI Saint Joseph Health can help. Find a provider today.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Summer 2022 print edition of Spirit of Health.

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Spirit of Health magazine's print edition is distributed quarterly and focuses on topics related to our CHI Saint Joseph Health purpose and values.