It was once thought that fat and cholesterol were the biggest dietary contributors of heart disease. But with today’s modern research, scientists are finding that sugar and carbs may actually be playing a bigger role in heart disease than fat and cholesterol. For example, Mark Hyman, M.D., cites several studies in his book, The Blood Sugar Solution:The UltraHealthy Program for Losing Weight, Preventing Disease, and Feeling Great Now!, that indicate high blood sugar is linked to heart disease.
So what foods are considered “heart healthy” these days?
Heart-healthy foods include foods on the Mediterranean diet: healthy fats like olive oil, olives, avocados, coconut oil, and nuts; salmon and other cold-water fatty fish; all vegetables and whole fruits (but not fruit juice which has a high natural sugar content); and whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, or oats in moderation.
Here is a delicious recipe for a heart-healthy day:
Turmeric Lentil Soup
High in fiber, lentils help regulate blood sugar which in turn helps to protect the heart from inflammation. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and has been shown to lower cholesterol, while tomatoes are high in lycopene, an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks.
- 1½ cups lentils, rinsed and soaked for 2 hours
- 2 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup onion, finely chopped
- 1-inch piece of ginger, finely grated
- 1-inch piece of turmeric, finely grated (or 1 tablespoon ground turmeric)
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, crushed
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 box crushed tomatoes
- 2½ cups low sodium vegetable broth
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
Rinse and soak lentils for 2 hours, drain.
Heat the olive oil and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft.
Add all herbs and spices except the parsley, and sauté.
Add the lentils and sauté a few minutes, until coated with the herb mixture.
Add the vegetable broth and tomatoes, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley.
Makes 4 servings
Your heart will thank you for this cardiovascular-boosting day of lunch or dinner. Eating a diet full of heart-healthy foods will help protect your heart, and may even reverse some elements of heart disease. Note: Consult your cardiologist before changing your diet if you are currently being treated for heart disease.
~ by: Heidi Hackler