Diets for Heart Health Part 1 the D.A.S.H.

Most first world cultures have progressed into high sugar, fast and processed foods, associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Japanese peoples, and other long lived cultures, once among the healthiest in the world started experiencing heart disease and diabetes upon immigrating to North America.

Along with regular exercise, moderate alcohol consumption, and no sugar or tobacco in any form, diet is the primary way to protect your heart, and overall health. Anyone suffering from heart disease needs to consult with their cardiologist about exercise, how much, and how often. But the norm is 30 to 60 sustained minutes per day all days of the week, walking, running, bike ride. And moderate resistance training at least 4 days a week.

For people concerned with having a sedentary lifestyle, or job, its recommended in addition to the 30 minute sustained exercise every day, get up every 20 minutes and preform 2 minutes of anything that gets your heart rate up, jog in place, pushups, climb some stairs. To prevent sitting heart disease.

My preference is every 20 to 30 minutes I get up and preform 1 minute each of standing crunches, knee raises, and body weight squats.

Many so called diet foods, low fat foods = increased sodium and sugars to make up for lack of fat.  

Blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, inflammation, cancer are all risk factors influenced by what you eat. Consuming healthy fats, plenty of plant based antioxidants, and high fiber are proven to help support heart health.

D.A.S.H. DIET Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, was designed by heart specialists, to help prevent and treat hypertension, or high blood pressure, and reducing risk of heart disease, it doesn’t have a strict meal plan, it recommends specific amounts of foods with the focus on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy, and lean meats, limiting red meat, refined grains, processed foods, sugars.Reducing sodium intake has been shown to significantly reduce blood pressure, especially when combined with the DASH diet

For otherwise healthy people it limits your sodium intake to 1 teaspoon (2,300 mg) spread through the day. For those in crises, or close to it, no more than 3/4 teaspoon (1,500 mg) per day.

My personal preference is Himalayan pink salt. Himalayan salt is less processed and does not usually contain additives. While the sodium content is about the same as regular processed table salt, the natural minerals are intact.

We do need some sodium in our diet for health, but not nearly as much as we get. Every slice of cheese, low fat, no fat, or full fat, every bowl of soup, sauces, anything that is processed in some fashion has sodium. A typical slice of Velveeta cheese has 310.1 mg of sodium. Campbell’s tomato soup 480 mg 21%, add that to a sandwich, one slice of bread typically has 47.5 mg, mayo 175mg per tblsp, mustard 55mg pre tsp, 100 grams of cooked ham has 1,060 mg, a deli sandwich usually has about 200 grams of sliced meat. Pickle 1,208. And don’t forget would you like salt and pepper on that. 480+310+47.5+47.5+175+55+1060+1060+1208= 4.443 MG in one quick deli lunch, three times the daily crises intake in one lunch.

The DASH diet’s emphasis is on high fiber foods, such as whole grains and vegetables, and elimination of added sugars and saturated fats may also contribute to its heart-health effects

Indeed, research shows that the DASH diet reduces heart disease risk factors like blood pressure, obesity, waist circumference, cholesterol levels, and insulin resistance

An umbrella review of 7 separate reviews linked the DASH diet to a 20% reduced risk of heart disease, 19% reduced risk of stroke, and 18% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes

Vegetables, Fruit, Grains (mainly whole grains) steal cut oats. Low Fat or No-Fat Dairy Foods Lean meats, poultry and fish Nuts, seeds and dry beans Fats and Oils non hydrogenated trans-fat free.

Examples of daily servings Vegetables: 4-5 servings
250 mL (1 cup) raw leafy vegetables
125 mL (½ cup) cooked vegetables Fruit: 4-5 servings
1 medium piece of fruit
63 mL (¼ cup) dried fruit
125 mL (½ cup) fresh, frozen or canned fruit

Grains (mainly whole grains): 7-8 servings
1 slice 100% whole grain bread
250 mL (1 cup) cereal, steal cut oat porridge, barley,
125 mL (½ cup) cooked rice, pasta or cereal

Low Fat or No-Fat Dairy Foods: 2-3 servings
250 mL (1 cup) milk
250 mL (1 cup) yogurt
50 g (1½ oz) cheese

Lean meats, poultry and fish: 2 servings or less
3 ounces cooked lean meats, skinless poultry, or fish

Nuts, seeds and dry beans: 4-5 servings per week
1/3 cup (1.5 oz.) nuts
30 mL (2 tbsp) peanut butter
2 tbsp (1/2 oz.) seeds
1/2 cup cooked dry beans or peas

Fats and oils: 2-3 servings
5 mL (1 tsp) soft non hydrogenated 0 transfat margarine
15mL (1 tbsp) low-fat mayonnaise
30 mL (2 tbsp) light salad dressing
5 mL (1 tsp) extra virgin cold pressed oil

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