Lean & Green - The Heart Healthy Diet

Reshaping what you thought about diet, it’s not exclusively about weight loss. Lee Memorial Health System cardiologist Brian Taschner believes it’s central to heart health.

“Diet really has an impact on a number of the cardiac risk factors,” says Dr. Taschner.

Including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and of course obesity; all greatly impacted by what we eat. Research suggests people who consume high amounts of animal proteins may face a higher risk of these conditions.

“Not necessarily just from the fats but also from consumption of a lot of the meats and the dairy that we consume,” says Dr. Taschner.

That’s one reason behind the growing interest in plant-based diets. Going lean and green shows promise in both prevention and management of cardiovascular disease. Studies looked at people who went mostly meatless and found tangible health benefits.

“Cholesterol levels that are cut in half without medications, patients getting off of their diabetes medicines, their blood pressure medicines and actually reversal of heart disease,” says Dr. Taschner.

If you’re considering giving it a stab, you don’t have to give up meat cold turkey. Try limiting it to about 10% of your diet. About 60% of your calories should be grown.

“Really trying to focus on the leafy greens. So things like spinach and kale, chard, romaine lettuce, those things and then really incorporating all other types of vegetables into your diet,” says Dr. Taschner.

Fruit, whole grains and healthy fats from things like nuts and olive oil help flesh out the menu. A diet makeover you can take to heart.

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Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.

Visit leememorial.org

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