Good Food, Good Health

Good Food, Good Health

16 Pages · 2002 · 96 KB · English

Have a Heart Food is essential to life. And what we choose to eat will affect the way we look, feel, and function. Enlightened medical counsel recommends that Americans

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Have a Heart Food is essential to life. And what we choose to eat will affect the way we look, feel, and function. Enlightened medical counsel recommends that Americans adopt a menu that is low in fat, high in ?ber,and rich in phytochemicals.It seems as though a new study is released every day that emphasizes the need to reassess the meat-centered diet that has been the gold standard for most of the last century. Medical and nutrition professionals are saying that the key to good health lies in the plant kingdom, and that a healthy plant-based diet can help protect against heart disease. There are a number of reasons for this. Plant-based diets are cholesterol-free and lower in total fat, especially sat- urated fat, than meat-based diets. They are higher in ?ber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. Animal products are the primary source of saturated fats, which cause the liver to produce more cholesterol, raising LDL (?bad? cho- lesterol) levels dramatically. Saturated fat does not occur in the plant kingdom in any signi?cant amount, except in tropical oils, such as coconut and palm oil, and in cocoa butter. Animal products contain no ?ber, whereas a plant- based diet is high in ?ber, which carries excess hormones and cholesterol out of the body. Good Food, Good Health  5 c01.qxd 8/6/02 9:59 AM Page 5 Consuming the conventional American diet over time will cause excess fats and cholesterol to build in the bloodstream, scarring the inner lining of the arteries. These scars collect fat and cholesterol and begin to swell, forming growths called ?plaque.? Plaque prevents the artery wall from remaining ?ex- ible, and as plaque increases in size, it will cause the arteries to narrow, reduc- ing the flow of blood to the heart. This condition, called ischemia, can progress to angina, marked by mild to severe pains in the center of the chest due to diminished blood ?ow. Over time, this deadly buildup will cause arter- ies to

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