Web Analytics

How to maintain a heart-healthy diet

Dr. J. David Amlicke is adamant about a healthy cardiac diet and says heart health begins with one simple step: “Do not go to fast food restaurants. Not under any circumstance! I tell patients over and over and over – avoiding them is the kindest thing you can do for your heart.”


The American diet is filled to the brim with sodium, processed foods, sugars, and fatty foods. Add to this smorgasbord of poor health the size of American portions and the epidemic of heart disease in the United States becomes a bit clearer.

“We have a problem in this country with size,” says Amlicke, an interventional cardiologist with Gateway Medical Group in Clarksville. “If you’re at a healthy weight, people are going to ask you why you’re so skinny. If you’re eating healthy choices for lunch, people are going to ask you why you’re on a diet. We’ve got to get back to a place of healthy relationships and education with our food.”

So what exactly is in a heart-healthy diet? “It’s going to start with what you’re cutting out of your diet,” says Amlicke. “Remember the three Fs. Fast foods, fried foods, and fatty foods. You’re going to want to cut all of that from your diet. Do you want chicken? Have a properly sized piece of grilled chicken. Don’t go straight to KFC.”

In addition, it’s important to begin learning ways to limit trans and saturated fats within your diet, as they can lead to high cholesterol, which can result in atherosclerosis, a serious cardiac condition. According to the American Heart Association, less than 7 percent of your diet should consist of saturated fats and only 1 percent of your diet should include trans fats. Limitations should also be made on sodium intake, which, in excess, can lead to raised blood pressure and heightened risk factors for cardiac disease. The Department of Agriculture recommends having no more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day, or roughly a teaspoon.

“The importance of diet is immeasurable, but it is obviously important because a balanced diet will help you to maintain a healthy weight, which will help to prevent diabetes, which is a leading indicator and cause of heart disease. It’s a profound problem.”

Amlicke further states that the recent rise in diabetes is likely linked to basic consumer relations in the United States. “It’s the simple truth that the cost of a calorie at McDonald’s is so much cheaper than a calorie of something healthy. It’s much easier on your pocketbook to eat in an unhealthy way, and I find that incredibly troubling.”

He suggests that making simple changes in your diet over time can help to greatly reduce your risk for heart disease and increase health. “Cut out chips and soda. I personally did this. Soda in particular is just a huge source of calories that you simply don’t need. It doesn’t cost you anything to drink water instead of soda. In fact, you’re saving money. It doesn’t cost a thing to not buy chips at the store.”

As for what we should be buying and eating, Amlicke has this to say, “The do’s of healthy eating are so easy. So easy. Tons and tons of raw fruits and vegetables. Whatever fruits and vegetables happen to taste good to you – eat it. Anything green in particular is going to be great for you. Eat it raw, steam it. In my family we’re broccoholics. Eat as much of it as you can. What this is going to do for you is to help rid your body of free radicals that lead to coronary disease and cancer. It increases health.”

All heart-healthy diets are also aided, of course, by a balanced and regular exercise routine including plenty of cardio. “You can find ways to improve your diet and you can find things that you’re going to like. Your heart is going to thank you for it.”

Custom Search
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Leave a Reply

Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com