Wellbeing Wednesday: Eating for your Heart

Since its Valentine’s week, I thought it fitting to cover heart health this week.

As a kid, I was diagnosed with high cholesterol, and with diet changes was able to control it, although up until very recently, it was always borderline high. Today, with regular exercise and eating a much healthier diet, it’s in a much better place. My family history of heart disease, however, makes it something that I think about, and will constantly be in a battle to win.

In the last couple of years, I’ve become much more focused on food as fuel. At Christmas, I won a prize pack from Clif Bar that included a ton of these yummy guys.

But it also included Eat and Run by Scott Jurek, in which he constantly reminded me that food is medicine. While I don’t believe that you should count out modern medicine in some circumstances, there is a lot that we can do to make our bodies strong and healthy through the choices we make with our food.

Clearly, anything with a heart on it is a good choice. But, hey, it’s vegan. It’s heart healthy-ish by default 😃

There are a lot of opinions about the best diets for athletes, for weight loss, for basically anything. But one diet, that doesn’t completely restrict anything, including wine, has clinically been shown to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.

The Mediterranean Diet, one made up of fruits & vegetables, olive oil & nuts, fish & legumes, and up to 7 glasses of wine a week, showed that those who followed it had fewer heart attacks, strokes, and fewer deaths than those on a typical modern diet.

I’m constantly reading up on opinions on different diets that improve muscle mass, reduce fat, and can power me through half and marathon training. I’ve done basically every fad diet in the last 20 years, but have fully resisted the Paleo diet because I don’t understand why it promotes avoiding legumes. They are one of the healthiest things to eat, how could it possibly be a good thing to avoid?

But I digress. My diet definitely includes too much modern convenience, which I’m working on, and clearly needs a bit more wine, but I’m proud of the progress I’ve made, and happy that I’m moving in step with a diet that will help me buck the genetics I’ve been provided.

Do you follow any type of diet?
What’s your less healthy weakness?
Are you celebrating V-day with anything special?

7 thoughts on “Wellbeing Wednesday: Eating for your Heart

  1. kristenk

    Oh man, I’m with you on this one! My dad had a massive heart attack when I was 20 and I was tested (as was everyone else in my family) and I had high cholesterol already! It’s pretty scary because given my family history I know that this is something I’ll have to worry about my whole life, and my doctor said that I’ll always have it because it’s hereditary 😦 But I may have to check this diet out since I really don’t want to have to go on medication in a few years!

    1. It’s so scary to think no matter what we do to be healthy, this will always be an issue. I need to be better about remembering that when I’m staring down a cookie or a cupcake.

  2. The only diet I ever followed religiously was the Dukan Diet a few years ago to drop some lbs…it worked. These days, I work on getting lean proteins, lots of fruits and veggies and whole grains. I’m guilty of too many sweets for sure. I also realized I had a sodium and potassium deficit after I tracked my food for a few weeks so I’ve been working on that. Explains the leg cramps I get every once in a while!
    My weakness is dessert -100% of the time. Ice cream, brownies, good cake, etc.
    Going out with the girls for V-Day! 🙂

    1. Sodium & potassium deficit! And for a runner, you are lucky you didn’t have more issues!

      Sweets and carbs in general are my issue. Although if I cut them out, it’s not as bad. Once I’m eating them, I feel like I have free reign.

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