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Dieting for Your Heart Health

By Stephen R. Farris

Making a lifestyle change can be a big step in a person's life. The older we get, the more we have to start thinking about our health, especially when it comes to diet and exercise. But there is one other thing you should think about, and that's your heart health.

While it's great that you're exercising more, if you're still smoking, drinking, and eating foods highly processed, then you might be defeating the purpose of getting healthy.

Research has shown us that eliminating tobacco products and alcohol -- or at least limiting alcohol consumption -- can actually add years to your life. Eating a healthy diet can also contribute to longevity as well.

Healthy eating can be confusing, but to get you started take a look at a few heart-healthy diets to consider, each of which has some scientific backing.

Try the Mediterranean Diet

Developed in the 1960s by people residing in Greece and Southern Italy, the Mediterranean diet consists of eating foods such as whole grains, nuts, legumes, fresh fruits, raw vegetables, fish, seeds, and using extra-virgin olive oil to cook with. The diet also suggests consuming poultry and dairy products moderately, and limiting the number of processed foods you eat.

The Mediterranean diet can help reduce your chances of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, and high blood pressure. 


Much like the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) includes basically the same types of foods, also limiting dairy consumption, but also limiting the amount of sodium consumed each day. DASH recommends consuming no more than 1500-2300 mg of salt per day. Studies have shown that people with high blood pressure can actually lower it by reducing their salt intake.

Low Carb Diet

Typically, the low carb diet eliminates consuming breads, grains, pasta, potatoes, drinks and snack foods high in sugar. The low carb diet focuses more on foods high in protein and good fats, such as avocados for example. Eating a diet low in carbs could reduce your chances of developing certain heart diseases, help you lose weight, lower blood pressure, and increase good cholesterol (HDC). However, more research on the long-term effects of a low carb diet is needed. 

Remember. You should always consult with your primary doctor or local chiropractor to find out if you're healthy enough to begin a diet and/or exercise program.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Layton, Utah.

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