Coronary arteries are the narrow tube-like vessels that bring blood to the heart.
A fatty substance known as plaque can build-up in these vessels and narrow them. This causes less blood to reach the heart. This is known as coronary artery disease (CAD).
In coronary heart disease, the heart does not get enough blood and oxygen, which then leads to serious health problems including angina and heart attack.
There are numerous factors that can increase the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). They include:
- High blood pressure
- Sex ( it is more in males)
- Family history
- Cholesterol level
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a substance produced in the body. We also get it from milk and dairy food.
Cholesterol is of two types:
LDL or the low-density lipids: It can build up in the arteries and narrow them.
HDL or the high-density lipid: It is the good cholesterol that protects the arteries from plaque build-up
Maintaining the level of LDL in the blood is very important to prevent CAD. It can be done through diet, exercise, and certain medications. It can also be reduced by increasing the HDL level.
6 Useful Foods to Include In The Diet for Coronary Heart Disease (CAD)
Heart diseases account for one-third of all deaths worldwide.(1) Diet plays a major role in reducing risk.
If suffering from coronary heart disease, it is best to avoid food with LDL cholesterol such as red meat, excess oil, butter, cheese, whole and 2 percent milk.
Also, foods with the cholesterol-raising property such as French fries, doughnuts, and margarine should be avoided.
The right diet for coronary heart disease includes those foods that can improve artery health.
Oats are rich in beta-glucan, which is a fiber that blocks the absorption of cholesterol from the digestive tract.
You can consume oats as a meal and can also blend it into a smoothie. It is a heart-healthy food and keeps the cholesterol in the body, leveled.
Beans, just like oats reduce the amount of cholesterol absorbed from the food. It is a potent antioxidant that keeps the arteries in good condition.
A study found that 16 people eating pinto beans had reduced levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol.(4)
A review of a few studies found that a diet high in beans and legumes decreased the LDL cholesterol level.(5)
Eating beans can reduce blood pressure and inflammation that can further reduce the risk of heart disease.(6)
Nuts such as almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and pecan, all are considered smart food for heart health. This is due to the presence of arginine, an amino acid in them.
Arginine keeps the blood vessel relaxed and supple and this helps the blood to flow freely through the body.
A study reported that eating almonds for four weeks resulted in a decrease in both LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol.(7)
Nuts are nutritious but also high in calories and should be consumed in moderate amounts.
Fatty fishes such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
As shown in a study, eating salmon three times a week for eight weeks significantly reduced diastolic blood pressure.(8)
Green tea is associated with numerous benefits to health.
It is rich in polyphenols and catechins that act as antioxidants, thereby preventing damage, reducing inflammation, and protecting heart health.
A review of a few studies found that a higher intake of green tea was associated with lower levels of LDL and total cholesterol.(11)
Berries such as blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are packed with nutrients that play a major role in improving heart health.
They are rich in antioxidants that protect against oxidative stress and inflammation.
Berries are a low-calorie snack and can also be consumed in different ways.
Along with a heart healthy diet, lifestyle also plays a role in managing the coronary heart disease. A person with an active lifestyle and healthy diet has a healthy heart.
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