A cardiac diet, also called a heart-friendly diet is basically a diet concentrate on lowering cholesterol, fat and sodium intake. It is believed that heart diseases are caused by high cholesterol levels. The heart-friendly diet includes foods low in saturated fat, sodium (salt), salt and sugar. Most of the foods have to be organic for this diet to be considered heart friendly. The cardiac diet does not exclude fish and seafood from the diet, but they should only be consumed in moderation.
The cardiac diet does not limit the use of salt substitutes in cooking. Most foods that are low in salt can be cooked without using salt substitutes. Even if you do not use salt substitutes in your cooking, you can still prepare meals that are low in sodium. Some foods such as fresh seafood can be prepared without using salt.
For people who are diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, a cardiac diet should be started as soon as possible. Starting the cardiac diet earlier rather than later in the course of the disease helps prevent a possible buildup of cholesterol in the arteries. When cholesterol is already high, it increases blood pressure, which increases the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. High blood pressure can cause a narrowing of the coronary arteries and increase the risk factors for stroke, heart attack and heart failure.
Cardiac nutrition has two components: soluble and non-soluble fiber. Foods that are high in soluble fiber are fibers, such as oat bran and psyllium, that are found in whole grains and certain fruits. These foods help lower the total fat content of the meal and also reduce cholesterol. Foods that are high in non-soluble fiber are vegetables, oatmeal and prunes. These foods help prevent blood sugar levels from increasing after the meal, which can lower the risks for diabetes. Other kinds of fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber are pinto beans, green beans, romaine lettuce, collard greens and turnips.
A cardiac diet should be considered a lifestyle change and not just something to go on. The foods you eat should be consistent with the guidelines of the Mediterranean diet, which includes foods with low levels of saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol. In addition, low-fat dairy products and lean meats are recommended. Adding grapefruit, oranges and watermelon to the diet provides many health benefits, including improving your skin and preventing cancer.
To learn more about cardiac diet and how to put it into practice, you can get books written by cardiac specialists that explain the basics of this diet. Also, you can get support from your doctor or from other people who have successfully followed the diet. You can also join a diet buddy program so that you can learn from one another and make the necessary changes. There is no doubt that a low-sodium diet is an important part of a healthy heart-healthy diet. As you get started on your new diet, make sure to consult your doctor for further information and then take control of your life.