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Use Your Diet to Cut Risk of Stroke and Heart Attack

By Sandy Schroeder

Every day we make choices for or against our health when we grab a burger and fries, or take the time to cook a healthy dinner at home.

Recently a study in the Joiurnal of the American Medical Association pinned down specific foods and nutrients that affect our risk of dying from CMD, cardiometabolic disease. The researchers found eating too much of some, and not enough of the other, linked to 45 percent of deaths due to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Overall the guidelines look like this.

Eat More of These

Seafood - Try for 12 ounces each week. Opt for a tuna sandwich or tuna casserole or grilled shrimp for dinner and shrimp tacos for lunch. When you eat out, order fish.

Vegetables - Shoot for five servings every day. Grill, steam or stir-fry and fill half of your plate with veggies. Pick your favorite red or yellow peppers, green Brussels sprouts or broccoli, and fresh sweet corn. Shop your farmers market picking family favorites.

Fruits - Eat four servings daily. Serve fruit as a snack and add it to breakfast, lunch and dinner. Top your morning oats with berries, add sliced green apples to a lunch salad, and add slices of citrus to your dinner salad.

Nuts and seeds - Consume an ounce per day. Mix them into salads or cereal and pack them along as snacks.

Whole grains - Eat four servings daily. Eat quinoa, brown rice, barley, millet or faro.

Polyunsaturated fats - Use them to replace carbohydrates or saturated fat. Use canola or olive oil instead of butter.

Eat Less of These

Sodium - Hold salt to less than one teaspoon per day. Watch out for sodium in fast foods, soy sauce, bottled salad dressings, breads, rolls and pizza, cold cuts, soups, tacos and burritos. Hide the salt shaker and gradually wean yourself away from salty foods.

Processed meats - Switch out salami, hot dogs, ham or bologna in favor of tuna or chicken or veggie fillings. Consider egg salad or nut butter with honey as additional options.

Sugar sweetened drinks - Give up sugared teas and coffees in favor of plain tea or coffee and waters served with citrus or berries. Keep chilled water in the fridge and look for natural fruit drinks with no added sugar.

Red meat - Think of red meat as a side instead of the main dish, using less than 4 ounces of lean meat in casseroles or stir-fries.

However you change your diet, don't try to switch everything at once, but do keep working on the positive options as you cut back on the foods with the most sugar, fats and sodium. Gradually, you may find your tastes changing, making it easier to eat healthy.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Saint Peters, Mo.

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