Certain heart-healthy foods truly act like medicine for your blood vessels, says integrative cardiologist Joel K. Kahn, MD, and these are the best to eat to prevent or reverse heart disease.
BY LAUREN GELMAN
First: Break up with soda
An astounding 180,000 people die each year, worldwide, due to the consumption of sugary drinks, and about 45,000 of those deaths are from heart attacks. Heart disease might set in because people who drink many soft drinks tend to gain weight, become diabetic, and suffer premature heart blockages. Soft drinks also elevate blood sugars, which coat proteins and fats, rendering them into a harmful form that damages your arteries. Harvard researchers, who have been studying more than 40,000 physicians and 88,000 nurses for more than two decades, found that women who consumed more that two servings of a sugary beverage a day were 40 percent more likely to develop heart disease than women who drank fewer. Men who drank the most sodas were 20 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who drank the least.
Power Rx: Give up soda. If you drink several a day, be realistic. Start by swapping one for iced tea. Or water it down by mixing half a glass with seltzer. Over time, drink less and less soda until you get to zero.