The single most important step you can take for heart health starts with what you put on your plate
No Half-Hearted Measures
Unfortunately, you won’t disease-proof your heart by simply adding chocolate, wine, and nuts to a diet full of doughnuts and bacon. Groundbreaking new studies explain why.
For years, government panels told us that the main villain in heart disease was the saturated fat in meat and dairy. We did the logical thing and cut down on total fat while upping refined carbs.
Bad move. Research now shows that the sugar and refined flour in our bagels, pizzas, cookies, and sodas are even more problematic. Stripped of fiber (and other nutrients), these unhealthy carbs zip-line through the digestive tract and into the bloodstream, where they deliver a triple dose of heart damage—raising harmful triglycerides, lowering protective HDL, and raising blood pressure.
But saturated fat isn’t off the hook. Some studies have appeared to exonerate it—but only because people in these studies replaced the bad fat in their diets with harmful carbs. “When you eat good fats instead of bad ones, cardiac risk goes down,” says Harvard’s Walter Willett, MD. So treat cheese as dessert, not the main course, and favor lean meat such as grass-fed bison.