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In the Framingham Heart Study, deaths due to heart disease were absent in subjects with total cholesterol levels below 150 mg/dL, but as cholesterol increased above 150 mg/dL, heart disease rates began to increase. That's great news for me, because the last time I had it checked my total cholesterol was 147. You can't believe how stoked I am!
But just because I lowered my cholesterol doesn't mean I can rest easy! It's always helpful for me to be reminded of the foods that are healthy for me. As a subscriber of Dr. Fuhrman's member center, I have access to and receive by e-mail tons of helpful information. It's $14.95 per month that I believe is well spent. Today I received a list of tips that I wanted to share with you. Because Healthy Girl's Kitchen s an affiliate of http://www.drfuhrman.com/ I am authorized to share this information with my readers. Isn't that cool? There were a giant list of footnotes to these suggestions which I have not included here.
So here are Dr. Fuhrman's recommendations for a healthy heart:
• Eat a high nutrient, vegetable-based diet with plenty of raw vegetables and cooked greens.
• Eat berries and pomegranates. The antioxidants in berries and pomegranates, such as anthocyanin and punicalagin, are especially effective in improving both LDL and HDL cholesterol.
• Avoid trans fats and minimize saturated fats. High cholesterol and heart disease deaths are more closely associated with saturated fat intake than any other part of the American diet.
• Eat one ounce of raw nuts and seeds daily. The phytosterols found in nuts and seeds lower blood cholesterol by blocking both cholesterol absorption during digestion and the re-absorption of cholesterol produced by the liver. Plus, nuts have additional cardio-protective effects that have yet to be discovered.
• Limit your intake of animal protein to at most two 3-ounce servings per week. If you have heart disease or significantly high cholesterol, avoid animal products altogether. Animal protein consumption directly increases heart disease risk.
• Eat beans daily. Beans are packed with resistant starch, soluble fiber, and phytochemicals which help to lower cholesterol. A 19-year study found that people who eat beans at least four times a week have a 21% lower risk of heart disease than those who eat them less than once a week.
• Have 1 Tbsp. of ground flaxseed each day. Flaxseeds contain beneficial omega-3 fats, lignans, flavonoids, sterols, and fiber. Clinical trials show that daily flaxseed consumption reduces total cholesterol by 6-11%. Try adding ground flaxseeds to smoothies or sprinkling them on salads.
Does anything surprise you from this list?
Are you incorporating these suggestions into your diet these days?