The daily habit you can’t afford to ignore – cardiologist-approved

Ensuring a healthy heart involves adopting habits that prioritize its wellbeing. 

Heart disease remains the leading cause of mortality in the United States, underscoring the urgency of preventive measures. Elizabeth Klodas, MD FACC, a board-certified cardiologist, founder of the Preventative Cardiology Clinic and chief medical officer of Step One Foods, advocates a daily habit crucial for heart health.

Per Eat This, Not That!, Dr Klodas stresses the significance of maintaining a well-rounded diet rich in essential nutrients.

Her focus revolves around whole, real foods, predominantly from plant sources, including beans, legumes, whole grains, leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish and occasional eggs [1]. 

She opts for plain, low-fat Greek yogurt and minimizes meat intake. A heart-healthy diet is pivotal in mitigating risk factors contributing to heart disease, such as obesity, diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure and physical inactivity [2].

Dr Klodas emphasizes that her daily habit centers on consuming nutrient-dense foods to nourish her body adequately.

Understanding the importance of dietary choices, especially in reducing saturated and trans fats, aligns with recommendations from the Mayo Clinic [3].

Managing blood cholesterol levels is crucial to prevent plaque buildup in arteries, known as atherosclerosis, which elevates the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Prioritizing fruits, vegetables, low-fat protein sources and whole grains aligns with the Mayo Clinic’s guidelines.

Dr Klodas highlights common nutrient deficiencies in individuals with or at risk for heart disease, emphasizing the need for fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and plant sterols [4].

These nutrients, abundant in a whole food plant-based diet, contribute to cholesterol reduction, lower triglycerides, prevent blood clots and combat inflammation linked to plaque buildup.

Dr Klodas underscores the transformative power of a well-balanced diet as the #1 daily habit for optimal heart health.

This approach, grounded in nutrient-rich plant-based foods, addresses immediate nutritional needs and acts as a preventive measure against heart-related risks.

Embracing a heart-healthy lifestyle involves mindful food choices contributing to overall wellbeing and longevity.

[1] https://www.eatthis.com/daily-habit-for-heart-health/
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10460604/
[3] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/heart-healthy-diet/art-20047702
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4153275/

Photograph: nenetus/Envato
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