The heart is undoubtedly the most important human muscle as it pumps oxygenated blood to all areas of the body. Today we are faced with an epidemic of poor heart health. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death in North America. A balanced diet, regular exercise and low stress will keep the heart, as well as the whole body, fit and healthy! Most of us are not optimizing on any of these categories which I believe is the cause for this epidemic.When considering a heart healthy diet the consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes will lend the most benefits as they are nutrient dense and (for the most part) low calorically. I want to point out how important healthy fats are to a healthy, happy heart. Do not be afraid if fats! Ever since the 1950’s we have been villainizing fat as the cause for our rapid incline of obesity and sickness. While there are healthier fats than others, health experts are now believing that the suggestion to lower fat intake is the cause. The consumption of rancid trans-fats and saturated fats have been proven to harm the body, causing heart attacks and other cardiovascular ailments.
Cholesterol has been a rising issue and high levels are extremely harmful to the cardiovascular system. Did you know that 75% of cholesterol is produced by the liver (Mercola, 2017)? This is because there are MANY uses for cholesterol in the body. The cause of high cholesterol can, therefore, also vary.
Reasons for High Cholesterol:
• Low vitamin D levels in the body
• Damaged cell membranes
• Increased stress
• Formation of hormones
• Poor diet (high in animal products and fried foods)
Fat is so important for the body, including the heart, to function in a healthy way. Every cell is composed with some type of fat! With this being said, the fats that are consumed through the diet should be healthy and eaten daily because we cannot live without cholesterol. Healthy fats will not produce inflammation (anti-inflammatory), protecting the bodies organs. The healthiest fats to support a healthy heart are;
• Avocados: filled with monosaturated fats, lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL)
• Grass fed Organic Butter/Ghee: 1-2 tablespoons per day, loaded with omega 3 and 6, great for brain health
• Coconut Oil: this oil is rich in medium chain fatty acids, the easiest fat for the body to digest and use
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil: the best oil for heart health, high level of monosaturated fats and antioxidants
• Omega 3 Fatty Acids: specifically DHA/EPA needed in the diet because the body cannot naturally produce, sources = walnuts, chia seeds, kale and salmonFor more detailed information on this topic you can read the article at https://www.healthambition.com/saturated-fat-bad/