By Janet Sue Terry
Food either gives us health or kills us. What we eat makes a difference. Not too many years ago it was discovered that the natives of Australia who lived in the wild and survived on roasted meat, wild greens and berries had no High Blood Pressure, Heart Decease, Cholesterol, or Diabetes. Some of those healthy folks were relocated into the main cities and a year later they too had the same ailments. It's definitely the food we eat that makes us sick. It stands to reason if we could hunt for our meat and collect our veggies and berries from the woods, we would follow their example and be healthier. So keep this in mind when you shop...pretend you are hunting...
(1) Lean meat (there are no fat deer, Birds, or rabbits in the wild. Boil, Bake, or Broil your meat. If you value your life don't eat Pork, lunch meat, or hot dogs. Limit yourself to lean Beef once a week, and no more. Try substituting ground Turkey and making Chili, broiling it for a hamburger, or using it in Hamburger Helper. They have also cleverly created Turkey Pork Chops, and lunch meat (I try to stay with Healthy Choice. They also sell pot pies and TV dinners), that taste delicious. Also eat Fish. It is very good for you. But not the kind packed in oil or breaded. Tuna should be packed in Water. Filets should be grilled, baked, or broiled) If you must rarely eat something breaded, eat less of it. A clever way to make healthy chicken patties in the oven is to dip the meat in an egg and milk mixture and roll in Special K cereal and bake until it is done. Tastes great with baked Sweet Potato and Green Salad.
(2) Greens (natives in Australia boil them and do not add fat (never again add fat but some Olive oil will be ok.) Incidentally Dandelions are a very healthy green. You can add it to Salads or cook it like mustard greens. I remember my mom collecting tender Dandelions each spring to make what she called Wild Lettuce (Wilted by adding boiling Bacon Grease). Another healthy green is Polk Salad Plant. A word of caution here, dark leafy greens contain Vitamin K. If you are taking a blood thinner, this vitamin will interfere. It is so powerful that if you begin to bleed and can’t stop because of the blood thinner a serving of dark leafy greens can stop the bleeding. Keep canned greens on hand for such a purpose. If you limit your greens to certain days every week or even every day the blood thinners can be adjusted. But be consistent.
(3) Berries (All berries are good for the heart, eat them (best to buy from the farm when they are in season or plant your own), in their native state with no sugar, cream, whipped cream, or any of that stuff.
(4) Sugar (Use Honey or Artificial Sweetener. In pies use concentrated Apple, Cranberry, Pineapple, or Grape juice).
(5) Salt (Limit your salt intact to 2000- a day, or the amount the doctor tells you to eat. (Everything you buy is pre-salted including Kool-aid and Jello. Learn to read the labels on everything you buy.)
(6) No White Food (Potatoes, Bread Pasta, etc. Eat Sweet Potatoes, Wheat Pasta, Breads and Buns.)
(7) No Whole Milk (Skim Milk or Soy Milk is best).
(8) Fats (If fat is lard based it cools and hardens in your Arteries. It is Pure Cholesterol. Think about the grease in the skillet after you fry Bacon, Sausage, or Ground Beef. You just ate that “Heart Killing” fat that hid inside the meat, and will clog your important arteries. Never eat Margarine, if you like a spread on your bread or potato buy Land O'Lakes Olive Oil Spread. Don't buy off brand Mayonnaise and Salad Dressings, use Hellmann’s Mayonnaise made with Olive Oil instead.)
(9) Fast Food (Heaven Help us it is the worst thing that has happened to us. They sell cheap so they have to buy cheap. They use the cheapest fat they can buy to make your French fries, chicken nuggets, and fish patties in. They use the cheapest sandwich spreads that's full of fat. Their ground beef has fillers that are not good for you. Some of their sandwiches are ridiculous. No one should eat a sandwich with Bacon added to other meat. And anyone with Heart Decease should be careful when ordering. Everything is filled with Salt & Sugar (so it is addictive and you will want to eat more), even the Salads. If you must order out, buy from the Jr Menu and use very little Salad Dressing, and ask the attendant not to salt your small fries, if you just need to eat a few. At KFC pull off most of the skin. The grilled Chicken is just as salty if not saltier. Let’s discuss Pizza, the cheese contains a lot of salt so you don’t need to add the meat, try getting used to Chicken Pizza, or Veggie Pizza with Thin Crust. I love the Veggie Pizza with extra Tomatoes on Thin Crust.
(10) Learn to love food that make you healthy. Change your life. Study the diet the doctor gives you. Search the internet for articles about your condition. The doctor can only do so much. You have to care about and feed yourself at home. And always keep those doctor appointments. The doctor is our partner in life now. Here are some great foods for the heart: Oatmeal, Cheerios, Olive Oil, Berries, Grapes, Apples, Fresh Veggies, Low-Salt or No-salt Peanut Butter, (unsalted Walnuts, Almonds, Peanuts, Hazelnuts), Garlic, Onions, Green Leafy Vegetables, Salmon, Sweet Potatoes, Leafy Green Food, Whole Wheat Products, Beans, Legumes, Fatty Fish, Asparagus, Red Wine, Coffee and Tea (in moderation), Flaxseed, Tuna (packed in water), Brown Rice, Soy Milk, Carrots, Spinach, Broccoli, Red Bell Peppers, Oranges, Acorn Squash, Cantaloupe, Papaya, Dark Chocolate, Tofu, Tomatoes, and fat-free Yogurt. Eggs are not bad for you, but eat them in moderation. Maybe 3-mornings a week. Try soft boiled or hard boiled, and maybe once a week fried in Olive Oil. A good breakfast is 1 egg, 2 slices of wheat toast with Olive Oil Spread, fresh sliced tomatoes, and a glass of fruit juice. Do a search on Google for "Foods that are good for the Heart" for more suggestions.
(11) Exercise as you have the strength. Don't over do it. You can sit in a chair, lift arms and legs with or without light weights 2-5-lbs. (You can buy weights at Wal-Mart to lift with your hands or strap onto your ankles. You can also lay on the bed and do the lifts and stretches. The bed is after all a mat. Do a few easy and slow exercises, and stretches stopping to regulate your breathing (its unbelievable how weak one gets after heart issues). As you recover do more exercises. Graduate up to walking on Treadmill 30-minutes a day, Riding Stationary Bicycle 30-minutes a day, and doing bending and stretching exercises. As you heal and feel stronger add time to your exercise regiment.
(12) Sunshine is the greatest source of Vitamin D. Vitamin D has many healing qualities. Sit, walk, or lay in the sun a little while each day. Not long enough to get sunburn.
(13) Foods that contain too much salt for you. Yellow Bottled Mustard, Ketchup, Sauerkraut, Pickles, Soy Sauce, Steak Sauces, Salad Dressings, etc. Always check Salt content.
(14) Don't think you deserve a break from the routine if you are good for a few days or longer. Don't imagine you can treat yourself to a big artery killing breakfast of all the wrong things, or a fast food nightmare that will load you down with salt that retains water that your heart can't pump out. All that salt causes your heart to fail because of water weight gain and it hurts. Don’t forget salt holds water. For your health and life watch the salt and fried foods. If you want to reward yourself use the money to buy you something special that you don't eat. Your reward is your good health.
(15) If you want to feel good and want to “Live Long”, then follow the rules that your body needs you to follow. Exercise willpower if you can. It is a challenge. After all, we've eaten enough dishes with high fats and salt in this lifetime, now its time to give up childish things and live a healthier life from now on.
Note: You can home can foods with no salt or sugar as preservatives. I did it last year fresh from the garden and orchard and blackberry and raspberry vines, and they were delicious. Check this site out for directions: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp/publications/publications_usda.html
Take time and study these Sources:
!0 Best Foods For Your Heart
Natural Food That Fight Cancer and Heart Decease
Feel Good Foods
25 Healthiest Foods
Healthy Heart Habits For A Long Vibrant Life