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Understanding Fats for Heart Disease - eliminating fat, counting fat grams may not help

When most patients told they have heart disease, they set out to eliminate fat in their diet. Many people start counting fat grams and when they do have fat, they opt for their favorite foods with fat: fried foods, sugary baked goods, dairy and red meat. Unfortunately, eliminating fat and counting fat grams is not going to be helpful for the heart. The heart needs fat. Choosing the right types of fats – the type that protect the heart - is the best option.

The Lyon Diet Heart Study proved that those who eat a diet rich Mediterranean-style food such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, grains and olive oil lowered their risk of cardiac events by nearly 70 percent. This diet is low in dairy and red meat, but rich in good heart-healthy fats.

If you have been diagnosed with heart disease, and even if you have not and just want to keep yourself healthy, the best types of fat to choose are unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Olive oil, canola oil, avocados, fish and nuts offer unsaturated, heart-healthy fats that have been proven to decrease triglycerides and blood pressure, while increasing high-density lipoproteins (good cholesterol). Studies have shown that patients who trade a high fat, high carbohydrate diet for one rich in these foods can improve their cardiovascular health in as little as six weeks.

Cold water fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and have numerous health benefits. Omega -3 rich fish has been shown to lower blood pressure, slow plaque buildup in the arteries, and prevent blood clots, all while reducing the risk of sudden death by 50 percent and lowering the risk of heart disease by more than 35 percent.

While knowing which types of fats protect the heart and offer protection against a future heart attack is a good start, it is also important to know which kind of fats to avoid. Partially hydrogenated oils (trans fat) and saturated fats decrease your high-density lipoproteins (good cholesterol), clog arteries and generally weaken your body’s natural defense systems. Trans fat is found in margarine, baked goods, many highly-processed foods and fried foods, while saturated fat is mostly found in dairy and meat. Researchers have found that some 225,000 heart attacks that happen to Americans each year could be prevented by eliminating trans fat from the diet.

Research done on fats suggest the same thing: reduce red meat, dairy, baked good, processed foods and fried foods, and opt for fresh fruits and vegetables, cold water fish, avocados, nuts, olive oil and grains. Be heart healthy!

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

The Social Security Award Notice
Spinal Stenosis and Filing for Disability
Will the Social Security Disability Judge Read your Medical Records?
Questions about the SSDI exam
Will Social Security Disability will send you to Rehab?
Garnishment of Social Security Disability
Can you be approved for disability without a hearing?
Applying for Disability with high blood pressure
Will my children get benefits if I get approved for disability?
How to file for disability in Delaware
Can You Get Disability Benefits If You Were Self-Employed?
Can if I win disability if I file for back problems?
How much SS backpay do you get?
Disability approvals over age 50
Developmental Delay and Filing for Disability
How much time for a decision on a disability claim?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Disability lawyer fee - what does an attorney cost?
Social Security Disability appeal status
The status of your social security disability or SSI case
Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI tips
Maximum SSDI SSI Disability back pay
SSI disability back pay
How Far Back Will Social Security Pay Benefits?
What if the SSDI Disability application gets denied?
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions
When You File an SSI or Social Security Disability Application
After you file and apply for disability
Applying for disability, the application process
Tips for how to get approved for SSDI or SSI
Social Security Disability SSDI SSI Tips
Proving Social Security Disability for a mental condition
SSDI SSI Eligibility Requirements and Criteria
Qualifying for disability benefits (SSDI or SSI)
How does a person qualify for SSDI or SSI disability, how are they eligible?