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FOODS TO EAT FOR HEART DISEASE
Oct 28, 2010 | By Sandy Keefe
Photo Credit Andrew Dernie/Photodisc/Getty Images
Coronary heart disease, or CHD, occurs when cholesterol and fat deposits build up inside the walls of the arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart. Known as atherosclerosis, this narrowing of the vessels deprives your heart of oxygen and can lead to a heart attack. A heart-healthy diet offers a number of foods that can help prevent atherosclerosis and reduce your risk of CHD. FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Choose a colorful mix of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins and minerals, high in fiber and low in calories, notes the Cleveland Clinic. Vegetables and fruits contain substances that may prevent cardiovascular disease, according to MayoClinic.com. When you fill up on fruits and vegetables, you'll be better able to resist high-fat foods like meat, cheese and processed snacks. If you can't eat fresh products, consider frozen or low-sodium canned vegetables and fruit packed in juice or water. Avoid vegetables packaged in creamy sauces, fried or breaded vegetables, canned fruits with heavy syrup and frozen fruits that have added sugar, notes MayoClinic.com. Educational Leadership Earn A Masters From University of San Francisco. Visit USF Now! www.usfca.edu/soe/Leadership Sponsored Links

NUTS, LEGUMES AND SEEDS
Eat at least four servings a week of nuts, seeds and legumes such as lentils and beans, advises the American Heart Association. These high-protein foods are healthier for your heart than animal proteins found in meat. Eating a handful a day of walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachio or other nuts can lower your blood cholesterol and keep your blood vessels healthy, notes MayoClinic.com. Since these products are also high in calories, limit your intake and avoid products covered with salt or sugar. WHOLE GRAINS

Eat plenty of unrefined whole grain foods that can make you feel full, help manage your weight and even lower your blood cholesterol, advises the Cleveland Clinic. Look for products made with whole wheat flour, 100 percent whole wheat or whole grain bread, cereals that contain at least 5 g of fiber in a serving, whole grain pasta, oatmeal and ground flaxseed. On the other hand, MayoClinic.com recommends avoiding foods made with white refined flour, doughnuts, biscuits, quick breads, granola bars, egg noodles, cakes and pies. LOW FAT PROTEIN

Choose your proteins wisely. Look for lean meat, poultry, fish, egg whites, egg substitutes and low fat dairy products. Soybeans and soy products, such as tofu, are also heart-healthy protein sources. According to the Cleveland Clinic, oily fishes like tuna and salmon that contain omega-3 fatty acids may reduce your risk of dying from CHD. Avoid organ meats like liver, bacon, lunch meat and commercial products that are fried or breaded, states MayoClinic.com.

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WHAT IS THE HEALTHIEST HEART DIET?
Photo Credit stilleben image by victoria p. from Fotolia.com Coronary heart disease starts when excess cholesterol and fat begins to accumulate inside the lining of the arteries that bring oxygen-rich blood from the lungs to your heart. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, poor diet is one of the major risk factors for CHD. In 2006, heart disease caused more than 25 percent of the deaths in the U.S. A heart-healthy diet, along with regular physical activity, can reduce your risk of dying from CHD. TLC DIET

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute convened a panel of experts to review the scientific evidence about diet and CHD and develop recommendations for a heart-healthy diet. In 2001, that panel recommended the therapeutic lifestyle changes, or TLC, diet. On the TLC, limit your total fat intake to less than 25 to 35 percent of your total daily caloric needs, reduce your intake of saturated...
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