There are many different foods, supplements, and lifestyle choices that we can make to improve our heart health but perhaps what is more important then what you should do is what you should not be doing.
It moves oxygen to our cells, removes CO2, transports nutrients to every corner of your body, and makes you fall in love (pretty sure that is scientifically proven?).
But we are not taking care of this ever so important organ. Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in North America and that number is not getting any smaller.
Each day thousands of people die because of heart disease and the sad truth is that it is almost 100% preventable.
Here are 7 things you must avoid if you want to improve the health of your heart.
2. Drink Less
3. Processed Foods
They cause extremely high amounts of inflammation and oxidation in the body which both are HUGE contributors to the development of heart disease.
Just eat real food!
4. Industrial Seed Oils
What these oils have in common is that there are high is omega 6 fatty acids. While omega 6's are important in our diet we currently consume far too many compared to our omega 3's.
This imbalanced ratio of omega 6's to 3's leads to high amounts of inflammation in the body and thus increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Simply substitute these oils with coconut, olive, avocado, grass-fed butter, or ghee.
Similar to the industrial seeds oils sugar increase inflammation and promotes the oxidation of your cells. More specifically, the oxidation of your small dense LDL transporter particles. Commonly, and incorrectly, referred to as your "bad" cholesterol.
It is the oxidation of these small dense particles that leads to heart disease NOT having high cholesterol. In theory your cholesterol can be very high and as long as they do not oxidize you are golden.
The difficulty with it is knowing where to start and truthfully everyone has completely different lives so just saying worry less or meditate more (although those are great suggestions) does not work for everyone.
That is why I find it difficult to relate when we are just told to reduce our stress or use these 5 strategies.
Rather, take a moment, sit back and really think about the major stresses in your life. Is it money, relationships, your job, your exposure to toxins. Once you have a good understanding of where stress is in your life take the appropriate steps to reduce it.
7. Conventionally Raised Meat
This would include grass-fed beef, pastured poultry and pork, wild caught fish, or wild game. I never buy conventionally raised meat and the only time I consume it is at dinners with friends, family, or occasionally eating out (I am not one of those people who will not come over for dinner if you do not serve a grass-fed roast).
Conventionally raised meat is a whole article in itself but this is how it works in a nutshell. We raise these animals in a extremely unhealthy environment, inject them with growth hormone to make them grow faster, feed them soy, corn, and god knows what, they get sick and stressed from this food so we give them antibiotics, then we eat these animals.
Red meat especially gets a bad rap for contributing to heart disease and it isn't entirely true in my opinion. It is not red meat that contributes to heart disease it is conventionally raised red meat, chicken, pork, farmed fish, etc. that increases our risk of heart disease.
In addition, here are a few tips you can implement that will reduce your chances of kicking the bucket from a heart attack...
- Eat more plants
- Take a high quality fish oil supplement
- Get your sleep
- Take a high quality co-enzyme Q10 supplement
- Get lots of vitamin D
Live YOUR Best Life!