10 strategies that will help reduce your risk of heart disease:
1.Replace processed foods (which are loaded with refined sugar and carbohydrates, processed fructose, and trans fat—all of which promote heart disease) with whole, unprocessed or minimally processed foods, ideally organic and/or locally grown.
2.Avoid meats and other animal products such as dairy and eggs sourced from animals raised in confined animal feeding operations. Instead, opt for grass-fed, pastured varieties, raised according to organic standards.
3.Eliminate no-fat and low-fat foods, and increase consumption of healthy fats. Half of the population suffers with insulin resistance and would benefit from consuming 50-85 percent of their daily calories from healthy saturated fats, such as avocados, butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk, raw dairy, organic pastured egg yolks, coconuts and coconut oil, unheated organic nut oils, raw nuts, and grass-fed meats. No- or low-fat foods are usually processed foods that are high in sugar, which raises your small, dense LDL particles.
Balancing your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is also key for heart health, as these fatty acids help build the cells in your arteries that make the prostacyclin that keeps your blood flowing smoothly. Omega-3 deficiency can cause or contribute to very serious health problems, both mental and physical, and may be a significant underlying factor for premature deaths each year.
4.You also need the appropriate ratios of calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium, and all of these are generally abundant in a whole food diet. To get more fresh vegetables into your diet, consider juicing.
5.Optimize your vitamin D level. Optimizing your vitamin D level through regular sun exposure, as opposed to taking an oral supplement, may be key to optimizing your heart health. If you do opt for a supplement, you also increase your need for vitamin K2.
6.Optimize your gut health. Regularly eating fermented foods, such as fermented vegetables, will help reseed your gut with beneficial bacteria that may play an important role in preventing heart disease and countless other health problems.
7.Quit smoking and reduce your alcohol consumption.
8.Exercise regularly. Exercise is actually one of the safest, most effective ways to prevent and treat heart disease. High-intensity interval training, which requires but a fraction of the time compared to conventional cardio, has been shown to be especially effective.
9.Pay attention to your oral health. There’s convincing evidence linking the state of your teeth and gums to a variety of health issues, including heart disease.
10.Avoid statins, as the side effects of these drugs are numerous, while the benefits are debatable. The only group of people who may benefit from a cholesterol-lowering medication are those with genetic familial hypercholesterolemia. This is a condition characterized by abnormally high cholesterol, which tends to be resistant to lowering with lifestyle strategies like diet and exercise.