You’ve just been told by your doctor that 95% of your arteries are blocked around your heart or that you have had a silent heart attack in the past. If you do not change your life style, you are prime to have another one. You leave the doctor’s office overwhelmed and do not know where to begin. Does this sound familiar? Many of my clients come to see me, some with a lot of information, and some with no information at all, but with the same message – he/she needs to change their ways.
The big thing you need to remember is to make small changes and to take things one meal at a time. Work slowly toward following the diet recommended by the American Heart Association. Your diet should be:
- Low in saturated fat (10-20 grams per day depending on your calorie needs),
- Higher in unsaturated fats (olive oil, peanut oil, and canola, and nuts, for example)
- High in soluable fiber (10-25 grams per day),
- Include about 2 grams of plant stanols/sterols daily. These are found in products such as benecol, take control, heart wise orange juice.
- Increase physical activity. Shoot for 30 minutes, 5 days a week.
- Have adequate calories to help attain a desirable weight. There are a few items
Some times it is hard to get all the soluable fiber, soy, and plant stanols/sterols from the foods you eat. Adding Psysillium supplements such as benefiber and Metamucil wafers, soy protein powder to your foods and including a product such as Cholestoff (phytosterol and stanol) can ensure you are getting the amount you need of these components daily. Before adding these supplements, check with you doctor to make sure they will not interact with any medications you are taking. It is always better to try to get the most nutrition from the food you eat and to complement your diet with supplemental products.
Helpful Book Resources
50 Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol, 2002, McGowan
T-Factor Fat Gram Counter: Completely Up-To-Date With 3-Week Recording Diary, 1995, Pope, Katahn