I had a heart attack while giving a speech about heart healthy foods to 25 men and women in the food industry. I was 63 with an active history of atrial fib, but was assured by doctors treating me that the heart attack and my atrial fib had nothing to do with each other.
That was the year 2000. Seventeen years later it has been proven that the 2 are related. So are many other human ailments. Among them are diabetes and diverticulosis both of which are related to heart problems of all kinds and to what foods we put into our bodies.
Though never having had diabetes, I have suffered this past year from bouts of diverticulitis. Loosely translated, it is the active form of a chronic condition called diverticulosis which forms bulging pockets in the digestive tract. It assures me that I must now be doubly careful so that what I eat, how much I eat and when I eat will allow me to sleep without discomfort, heart burn or intestinal spasms.
What is a heart healthy diet? It varies as we find out more information about new discoveries and genetics. For me it’s a combination of Weight Watchers™ and the Mediterranean Diet of eating.
Make sure that portion control is key and that artificial ingredients are none or almost none. Read labels. Use small plates. Take only one portion servings at each meal. Eat slowly putting your fork down between bites. Chew, don’t swallow food whole. Pay attention to what and how you are eating. Stop before you get full. The head doesn’t know the stomach is full for 20 minutes. You won’t know you’ve overeaten until after you’ve overeaten. Then, it’s too late.
I am active in several heart organizations, some local, some national and some related to The Ross Heart Hospital at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. HEALING HEARTS OF CENTRAL OHIO (www.healingheartscentralohio.
The next meeting is Wednesday, October 18th at The Ross Heart Hospital Auditorium from 6 PM to 8 PM. The guest speaker is Nutritionist James Warner, Program Director, Food and Nutrition at OSU. He’ll speak on “Nutrition and a Heart Healthy Diet.” A light meal is provided as is a parking pass for the attached garage. Come join us if you are in the Central Ohio area. Details and RSVP information are here.
See you there. Meanwhile, check out more info IN A HEARTBEAT: The Ups & Downs of Life with Atrial Fib.