Heart disease and stroke continue to be two of the leading causes of death in America, despite the improvements in science and medical treatment surrounding the conditions. Genetics plays a large role in cardiovascular health, as many people are predisposed to factors that result in or compound heart disease. However, the good news is that there are many lifestyle changes that can be made to combat the effects of genetic predisposition and improve outcomes for those who are likely to develop cardiovascular disease.
Thanks to modern healthcare advancements, many patients have success in preventing heart disease by receiving cardiology treatment from a cardiologist in Suffolk County, NY. Trained cardiology specialists can help you identify your risk, treat any existing conditions, and provide you with a roadmap for lifestyle change that can improve your chances of prevention. That roadmap will include pharmacology, other interventional measures, increased physical activity, weight loss, and improved nutrition. Nutrition and weight loss go hand in hand, and managing those factors can go a long way toward preventing cardiovascular disease and stroke. Keep reading to learn more about a heart-healthy diet for the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
When it comes to maintaining a heart-healthy diet, vegetables of all kinds can be your ally. Vegetables can help provide a full range of nutrients that are beneficial to your overall health. Moreover, when you make sure to eat plenty of vegetables, it prevents you from eating the kinds of foods that can adversely affect your heart health. Vegetables contain a great deal of fiber, which not only helps with feelings of satiation that will limit overeating, but can also have a sweeping effect on the arteries by helping to clear out bad cholesterol.
When it comes to the foods that you put on your plate, it’s not just important that you eat more vegetables but that you eat more varied, colorful vegetables. In the world of plants, colors translate to nutrient content. For example, cardioprotective anthocyanin is commonly found in vegetables that are blue, purple, or dark red in color such as grapes, blueberries, and purple-leafed kale. Anthocyanins fight inflammation, which can help improve vascular health.. Other vegetables contain equally important antioxidants and phytonutrients, which makes it important to keep a rainbow of color on your plate when planning your meals.
Add Whole Grains
While many fad diets encourage those wishing to lose weight to limit carbohydrate consumption, there’s a lot to be said for the heart-healthy benefits of a diet rich in whole grains. Whole grains are a great source of fiber, which can benefit cardiovascular health in general by removing excess cholesterol and reducing plaque formation in the arteries. Grains also offer some powerful nutrients that your heart needs to stay healthy.
Add Unsaturated Fats
One of the biggest nutritional risks to cardiovascular health is overconsumption of saturated fats. Whether through fried foods, processed foods, or heavy meat fats, saturated fats can cause major problems for your cardiovascular system by increasing inflammation and increasing your blood cholesterol levels. Heightened blood cholesterol can lead to plaque in the arteries, which is a primary risk factor for heart disease and stroke. While it may be difficult to avoid fat altogether, there are ways to substitute other options in for saturated fats, such as using less butter and more olive oil. Adding unsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocado, vegetable and nut oils, and nuts and seeds to your diet while abstaining from saturated fats can help keep you satisfied while also providing you with the cardioprotective advantages of these beneficial fat sources.
If your genetics indicate a history of cardiovascular disease and stroke in your family, there’s no time like the present to focus on prevention. To learn more about the importance of a heart healthy diet in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, contact Peconic Bay Medical Center at (631) 548-6000.