February was American Heart Month and Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of both men and women. I get so frustrated when I see the media reporting healthy advice that is the opposite of what one wants to do when preventing heart disease.
Why would they promote something that isn’t good for me you ask? The same reason why they promoted eating margarine was good for you years ago.
Nutrition is complex and the science is changing, but it’s far too important for you to ignore. You need someone to break it down and to explain why you need to take action now.
For many years America has demonized things like ‘saturated fat’, claiming it contributes to heart disease. All the while ignoring (until recently) a fruit like coconut and the benefits of the oil, which include a sufficient amount of saturated fat.
Often in Western nutrition or medicine, when it comes to sickness or health we focus on the specific issue or the one feature that is ailing us. For example, if you have a sore throat, you will often get something to fix your throat versus looking at the entire body as a whole to heal the root cause of that sore throat.
We did the same with saturated fat. We looked at this one piece of the diet and said that saturated fat contributes to heart disease or high cholesterol and we took it out thinking we were on the right track.
When we choose to avoid a food because we think that it is the cause of sickness, we need to check ourselves in that moment. There are so many factors at play in the diet and when we look at specific pieces versus the big picture we are often missing out on long-term solutions for optimum health.
According to Jack Callum’s Article, A Big Fat Mistake, “New research has weakened the perceived link between saturated fat and heart disease. Today, many experts agree that refined carbs pose a much greater danger.”
The bottom line is that it is also what you put into your body that helps your heart, not simply what you avoid.
So you’re all excited now about fueling that strong body with stellar nutrients so you can create long-lasting health for your body and heart.
Here are 3 simple tips to help you get started and keep your heart strong.
Eat a whole foods diet. A diet free of anything refined or that comes in a box. Think about the way your great grandmother or grandparents ate. Enjoy lean protein like fish, beans, nuts, legumes, and vegetables that include as many colors as possible. Beets are wonderful for your heart. Good fats in moderation like olive oil or flax oil are great places to start.
Anything white gets thrown away and newer options are chosen. Say goodbye to white breads, white rice, white noodles and processed white doughy foods. You add in brown rice, oatmeal, and sprouted breads. Try quinoa pasta, its super yummy.
Kick your sugar cravings! Replace your sugar addictions (soda, candies cakes, pies, latté’s) with sweet items that taste incredible but don’t include the sugar. Use honey, agave, stevia or maple syrup in moderation for sweeteners. Also, add in spices to balance the body. Cinnamon balances blood sugar.
Do you have a favorite sweet item that doesn’t include refined sugar?
Do you have suggestions on brands of goodies that contribute to your heart health and you want to share?