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Leading Cardiologist Discusses the Best Diet for Heart Health

Since the mid-1900’s, cardiovascular disease has become the leading cause of death for Americans. This surge in poor heart health is associated with the popularity of cigarettes during this time and a change in the average American diet. During the 1950’s and 60’s, Americans started to consume more processed foods, added sugars, and saturated fats. During the 1960’s, several major sugar companies funded Harvard University research teams to connect heart disease to fat and suggested sugar was a helpful diet aid. While research has continued to shed light on this topic over the past sixty years, many American diets still contain high levels of sugar, fats, and carbohydrates.

One Doctors Fight for Heart Health

Dr. Satjit Bhusri, a triple board-certified cardiologist and Council Member of the American Heart Association, understands the importance of diet in relation to heart health. By advising patients in his own New York City practice, Dr. Bhusri strives to educate the public on the direct impact diet has on heart health. Many diets are put forward by nutritionists and health magazines. Many claim to be the best diet for those with cardiovascular disease. However, Dr. Bhusri explains to all his patients while many diets may help with heart health, you still must find a reputable diet. A reputable diet should include the following criteria. Two to three servings of fruits and vegetables, in addition to anti-inflammatory foods. It should also limit foods that are high in saturated fat, sodium, artificially sweetened foods and beverages.

“There are red flags to watch out for with any internet diet, and so the most important thing I can tell my patients is to do your research. Any heart-conscious diet will encourage vegetables, healthy heart meats like salmon, and whole grains. Any diet that says it’s ok to drink soda probably wasn’t made by a cardiologist or nutritionist.” – Dr. Satjit Bhusri

Best Diet for Heart Health – DASH Diet is High on the List

One of the most reputable diets for heart health is the DASH diet. The acronym stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension. This diet promotes eating nutrients such as potassium, calcium, fiber, and protein to help reduce high blood pressure.

“A good example of a heart-healthy diet is the DASH diet. The DASH diet promotes eating healthy foods such as whole grains, lean protein, fruits, veggies, and low-fat dairy. While reducing the consumption of sugar-sweetened foods, whole dairy foods, and saturated fats,” explained Dr. Bhusri.

When looking for a heart-healthy diet, Dr. Bhusri recommends the following:

  • The diet has little to no fatty meats such as steak and pork.
  • Promotes lower caloric intake and eating large portions of vegetables.
  • Stays away from sugar sweetened foods and beverages such as ice-cream and sodas.
  • Encourages the consumption of anti-inflammatory foods such as salmon and avocados.

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Michael Wood, CSCS

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