Sherry A. Phillips

Suspense Author

How to Improve Heart Health

Heart Health

Several years ago, I began a healthier eating and living journey. I call it a journey, because as I learn, I try and do better. There are obstacles and I am by no means perfect.

The hard part is, I enjoy food. And frankly, sometimes I just don’t feel like getting up and working out, even though I know it’s good for me.

Every day is a decision. Every meal is a decision. Every bite of food I put in my mouth is a decision for health or disease. I understand this and like most people do the best I can, even though I may slip up and eat something really not good for me.

I will say this, overall, I eat better now than I did 4 years ago and that’s something.

My main reason for watching what I eat is because I take after my father’s side of the family. Now, I don’t have any scientific studies to back up my reasoning, but I look so much like my father, I think his genetic makeup must be pretty strong, so I’m more concerned with the health risks on that side of the family (though my mother’s side was the same).

High blood pressure and heart disease run rampant on both sides of my family tree. No cancer, but the high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes are there.

This makes me feel as though I should lean toward a more heart healthy way of eating and living, which includes eating a more Mediterranean based diet of fruits, vegetables and lean protein.

Last week, I read an article in The Atlantic about a town in Finland who took up a new way of eating and reduced their incidence of heart attacks by 80%.

From The Atlantic:

To Puska and the researchers, the roots of the disease were clear. Before World War II, North Karelian men were largely lumberjacks whose diets revolved around hunting game, picking berries, and fishing. Besides the occasional bear mauling, their main health concerns were tuberculosis, infectious diseases, and death at childbirth. After the war, veterans, as part of their compensation, were given small plots of land. Lacking agriculture skills, they cleared the land to raise pigs and cows. Predictably, pork and diary consumption skyrocketed. Butter soon made its way into almost every meal: butter-fried potatoes, buttered bread. Even traditional fish stew was half butter. They had fried pork or meat stew for dinner, chased with buttered bread and milk. Vegetables were considered food for the animals. Adding to the problem, GIs had returned home with a new habit: By 1972, more than half of all men smoked.

So, it would seem that not smoking and changing to eating a plant-based diet low in animal consumption is key to keeping your hearth healthy.

I’m not saying you must give up eating meat entirely, but add more vegetables and fruits into your diet and cut back on the meat and dairy.

It may just save your life!

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