February is American Heart Health Month. When looking for heart-healthy recommendations like eating for heart health and exercising for heart-health, our functional medicine practitioners investigate a patient’s unique needs, offer education and guide individuals through customized wellness plans to adapt their lifestyle for heart health.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States, one person dies every 36-seconds from cardiovascular disease. Preventing and treating heart disease involves practicing healthy nutrition.
One method to consider when eating for heart health is The Institute for Functional Medicine’s Cardiometabolic Food Plan. The Cardiometabolic Food Plan is intended to be a phytonutrient-dense, metabolically-balanced approach to enabling the body to more effectively regulate inflammation, insulin, and metabolism.
The Cardiometabolic Food Plan may be an option for individuals that identify with one of the following categories:
- Those with risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD)
- Those with risk factors for dysfunctional metabolic conditions such as metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes (T2D), or both
- Those with CVD (e.g., high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and elevated blood fats)
- Those with metabolic syndrome (e.g., high blood sugar, increased belly fat)
- Those with T2D
The food plan is called “cardiometabolic” because it aims to address both cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Cardiovascular and metabolic dysfunctions share similar causes, including inflammation, insulin resistance, and stress which can be addressed by dietary and lifestyle changes to treat these causes.
Elements of the cardiometabolic food plan include:
- Practicing a modified Mediterranean approach to nutrition
- Assessing Low Glycemic Index (GI) and Glycemic Load (GL)
- Specifying Targeted Calories
- Adhering to Regular Eating Times
- Developing a High Fiber, Low in Simple Sugars Diet
- Balancing Quality Fats
- Incorporating Condition-Specific Phytonutrients
Embracing a cardiometabolic food plan may seem limiting but there are many recipes and resources available to help individuals in their wellness journey to heart health. Review some of our favorite cardiometabolic recipes below (we have many more) and consult with one of our practitioners about developing a personalized plan for your heart-healthy lifestyle and heart disease prevention or treatment needs.
We recommend that individuals consult with their physician prior to making any substantial lifestyle, health or nutritional changes.
Start Your Heart-Healthy Lifestyle Today!
Are you interested in developing a custom nutrition plan for your specific health needs and wellness goals? Our functional medicine physicians can help!
If you are a current patient interested in scheduling an appointment, please log into the patient portal to make your request or call the office during business hours, (239) 649-7400.
If you are a new patient, please contact our new patient coordinator for appointment scheduling at email@example.com or (239) 649-7400 or complete the form below: