Top Cardiologist: These 5 Foods Can Stop You From Having a Heart Attack

Monday, 04 Mar 2013 09:19 AM

By Charlotte Libov

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If you struggle with high cholesterol, you’ve likely been told that taking a statin drug and cutting out high-fat foods, are the best ways to lower cholesterol. That’s not true, says one of the nation’s top cardiologists.

The fact is there are certain foods that can have a dramatic effect on heart health – without the side effects associated with statin drugs, says Chauncey Crandall, M.D. head of the preventative cardiology department at the world-renowned Palm Beach Cardiovascular Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

“Over the years, we’ve become aware that statin drugs, which are among the world’s most widely taken drugs, may carry a host of side effects. That’s why, for most of my patients, I now advocate making diet and lifestyle changes as the best way to lower cholesterol,” says Dr. Crandall.

“Studies show that by adding certain foods to your diet, you can lower your cholesterol level as effectively as using a statin drug. They really make a dramatic difference.”
Here are Dr. Crandall’s top five foods to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease:

SPECIAL:
These 4 Things Happen Right Before a Heart Attack — Read More.

1. Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a potent cholesterol-lowering food because oats are a good source of soluble fiber. This means that they form a sticky paste in your digestive system, which absorbs excess cholesterol, carrying it out of your body before it reaches your bloodstream. Eating five to 10 grams of soluble fiber a day has been proven to lower cholesterol.

2. Blueberries: Blueberries are considered a “super food” by many health experts because one serving (about a cup) contains five grams of cholesterol-lowering fiber, and also because they are rich in antioxidants, which helps protect the coronary arteries from the effects of aging. Top your oatmeal with fresh blueberries for a double cholesterol-lowering punch.

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3. Salmon:
Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which provide a host of health benefits, including lowering triglycerides, a dangerous blood fat. Salmon also lowers blood pressure and is found to reduce the risk of sudden death in people who suffered heart attacks. Another plus with salmon is that it’s usually served grilled or baked, not fried. When sautéing, be sure to use olive oil, instead of butter.

4. Almonds: Eating a handful of almonds each day lowers “bad” cholesterol by about nine percent, according to a recent study. These nuts are also rich in the antioxidant vitamin E, zinc, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium, which make them super-nutritious. But perhaps the best thing about almonds is that they contain no cholesterol and are rich in “good” monounsaturated oils, not the saturated kind that will raise your cholesterol.

5. Beans: This category – which includes beans, peas, and lentils – are high in soluble fiber, so just like oatmeal, they are great cholesterol-fighters. Beans are very high in antioxidants, and the body digests them slowly, so you feel full longer, which helps with weight loss. Some people don’t like beans because they contain indigestible sugars that cause gas. Buy the dried type and soak them overnight, and that problem will likely disappear.

SPECIAL: These 4 Things Happen Right Before a Heart Attack — Read More.

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