What dietary recommendations can reduce atherosclerosis risk?

Advertisement
Advertisement
Michael T. Murray, ND
Naturopathic Medicine

Here are the key dietary recommendations to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis:

Reduce the amount of saturated fat, trans fatty acids, cholesterol, and total fat in your diet by eating fewer animal products and more plant foods. Increase your intake of omega-3oils by eating flaxseed oil, walnuts, and small amounts of cold-water fish. There is considerable evidence that people who consume a diet rich in omega-3 oils from either fish or vegetable sources have a significantly reduced risk of developing atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is associated with a deficiency in omega-3 oils. Increase your intake of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats by eating more nuts and seeds - including almonds, Brazil nuts, coconut, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds - and using a monounsaturated oil, such as olive or canola oil, for cooking. Keep intake moderate, however, because these are high-calorie foods. Limit nuts and seeds to no more than 1/4 cup daily and monounsaturated oil to 2 tablespoons. Eat five or more servings daily of a combination of vegetables and fruits, especially green, orange, and yellow vegetables; dark-colored berries; and citrus fruits. Antioxidant compounds in these plant foods, such as carotenes, flavonoids, selenium, vitamin E, and vitamin C, are important in protecting against the development of atherosclerosis. These foods are also rich in B vitamins that can help lower homocysteine levels. Increase your intake of fiber. A diet high in fiber has been shown to protect against atherosclerosis. Dietary fiber, particularly the soluble fiber found in legumes, fruit, and vegetables, is effective in lowering cholesterol levels. Limit your intake of refined carbohydrates (sugar and refined grains). Sugar and other refined carbohydrates are a significant factor in the development of atherosclerosis. Sugar elevates levels of the hormone insulin. Elevated insulin levels, in turn, are associated with increased cholesterol and triglycerides, higher blood pressure, and risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
What the Drug Companies Won't Tell You and Your Doctor Doesn't Know: The Alternative Treatments That May Change Your Life--and the Prescriptions That Could Harm You

More About this Book

What the Drug Companies Won't Tell You and Your Doctor Doesn't Know: The Alternative Treatments That May Change Your Life--and the Prescriptions That Could Harm You

From one of today's leading authorities on natural medicine comes a provocative look into how the pharmaceutical and medical industries have created our current health crisis and a practical guide to...