The most common cause of death in America is heart disease. According to the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, out of more than 2.4 million deaths in 2006, 631,636 were from heart disease. Heart attacks occur when the arteries and veins in the body become blocked by fat and cholesterol. Avoiding heart blockage can help avoid a heart attack. Eating the right foods can help prevent and even reverse heart blockage.
Foods to Eat
Eat three to four helpings of fruit and vegetables every day to avoid or reduce heart blockage. Fruits and vegetables are low in fat and cholesterol, are rich in vitamins and minerals, and are low in calories. However, many people get bored eating raw fruits and vegetables. Buy a juicer to make fruit juice. Chop up your fruit and make a fruit salad. Vegetables make an excellent homemade soup. Carrots, potatoes and onions make a tasty meal. Stir fry vegetables as another fun way to eat them. Use low-fat sprays to avoid sticking and use lemon juice and soy sauce for flavoring. You can also juice your vegetables. Integrate garlic, which helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol, into your diet as much as possible. Garlic also helps prevents blood clot formation in your arteries.
Foods high in magnesium help regulate heart activity and cholesterol levels. These include wheat germ, potatoes, broccoli and spinach. Honey helps strengthen the heart. Even one spoonful a week can be beneficial. A handful of walnuts every other day can also help reduce the risk of heart attacks. Walnuts have essential fats, which are beneficial to the body, as opposed to saturated fats, which can cause heart attacks and obesity.
Foods to Avoid
Avoiding heart blockage can essentially make a person a vegetarian. Almost all meats should be avoided if you are trying to avoid heart blockage. Meat is high in fat; even when visible fat is cut off, it can still be found in the meat itself. Meat is also high in cholesterol. Oils or foods with oil, such as avocados and olives, also can cause heart blockage. Processed foods should also be avoided as these contain trans fats, which can cause heart attacks. Alcohol, caffeine and carbonated drinks can also lead to heart blockage and heart attacks. Caffeine speeds up the heart and alcohol slows it down. Egg yolks should be avoided, as well as any dairy product that isn’t nonfat.
Limit your intake of fat. Avoid fried food. Frying requires oil that seeps into the food. Grill, roast, bake or boil your food to bring out its natural flavors. If you must fry, use a non-stick pan and dry-fry. Add water, lemon juice or soy sauce for moisture. If you must eat meat, eat fish, chicken or turkey, which have less fat than red meat and also provide the body with more vitamins and minerals.