It's a hard fact to swallow, but those of us with reduced HDL (good cholesterol) levels combined with increased LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels, are at an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
It's critical to understand the role nutrition can play in controlling, preventing and treating cardiovascular disease (CVD); the leading cause of death for persons living with spinal cord injuries.
4 Easy Ways to Prevent CVD
Increase your fibre intake. Fibre, found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes binds to cholesterol/fat in the intestines and helps eliminate it in our waste.
Increase your intake of antioxidants, such as selenium, vitamins E, C & A, founds in foods like asparagus, dark berries, citrus fruits, yellow & orange vegetables (eg. sweet potato) and sunflower seeds respectively, protect arteries from free radical damage. Free radicals are unstable, reactive molecules that attack and damage tissue, particularly arteries. This in turn can lead to plaque build-up and contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease. Antioxidants act to neutralize these damaging free radicals.
3. trans fats
Eliminate trans fat from your diet. Trans fats (aka hydrogenated oil & partially hydrogenaed oil) are unnatural, man-mad fats created to increase the shelf-life of food. These fake fats can cause major clogging of your arteries. Trans fat is known to increase blood levels of LDL, while lowering levels of HDL. Trans fat can also interfere with your body's use of the beneficial omega-3 fats. Avoid all fast and junk food as these tend to be loaded with this unhealthy fat.
4. refined sugar
Reduce or eliminate your consumption of refined sugar. High blood sugar levels can not only contribute to increased LDL and triglyceride levels, but also cause collagen damage in your arteries.
For a heart healthy recipe see our Delicious CURRY QUINOA Recipe.