Cardiovascular Risk Reducing Diet | Nutritional & Herbal Supplements
Healthy dietary change usually requires ongoing support over several months to facilitate lasting results. Keeping a diet diary, which can serve several purposes, facilitates this. It is a reality-based record of food and beverage intake. Rather than relying on a person’s own assessment of their diet, it allows us to provide customized suggestions for each patient, which includes a list of foods and beverages consumed that should be avoided, and another list of healthier alternatives and substitutes. When done on a weekly basis, it is a means of creating gradual and sustainable dietary improvement. This method avoids the imposition of sudden, drastic and unrealistic dietary changes that are rarely achievable or maintained.
Specific therapeutic dietary approaches are tailored to the individual patient. Examples are listed below:
High Protein/Low Carbohydrate Foods
- Canned tuna
- Cheese (cheddar, jack, mozzarella – unprocessed)
- Yogurt (unsweetened)
High Fiber/Low Carbohydrate Foods
- String beans
- Artichoke hearts
- Snow peas
- Zucchini squash
- Spaghetti squash
- All fresh fruit
- Frozen berries, preferably organic
- Millet, buckwheat, quinoa
Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, shoyu, seaweed, tofu, miso, poi, water, unsweetened fruit juice, tea
Eat only occasionally (once or twice a week)
- Unsweetened cereals Grape Nuts, Shredded Wheat, Kellogg’s NutriGrain,
- Fried food (fried chicken, french fries, etc.)
- Fast food
- Hydrogenated vegetable oil
- Processed cheese
- Processed meat (Portuguese sausage, Spam, bacon, etc.)
- Commercial salad dressings
- Eggs (not fried), rice or toast, fresh fruit or unsweetened fruit juice
- Oatmeal with milk and fresh fruit and nuts
- Papaya or other fresh fruit, yogurt, granola
- Unsweetened cereal with fresh fruit or frozen berries
Lunch and Dinner
- Teri beef, rice, salad (lettuce, carrots, celery, cucumber, tomato, avocado, etc.) with olive oil and vinegar
- Canned tuna or sliced turkey on salad
- Broiled chicken with fresh vegetables, baked pumpkin squash
- Vegetable & Meat soup or stew
- Vegetarian pizza
- Burrito or tacos with rice and beans
- Chinese food – beef broccoli with vegetables and rice
- Thai food – Beef or chicken with vegetables, curry
- Lau Lau, poi
To supplement anti-inflammatory nutrients or to take anti-inflammatory medications while continuing to ingest pro-inflammatory substances is counter-productive. These dietary guidelines help reduce inflammation for most people.
- Decrease or eliminate red meat and dairy products, except non-fat dairy products.
- Decrease or eliminate refined sugar.
- Eliminate caffeine (including coffee, cola drinks). Drink black tea, green tea and herb teas.
- Eliminate all unhealthy fats – saturated fats and trans-fatty acids, including all fried foods, processed foods with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, poor quality oils such as peanut oil, cottonseed oil, etc. These fats promote inflammation in the body.
- Increase your consumption of cold water fish: salmon, halibut, mackerel, sardines, herring. The oil in these fish have definite anti-inflammatory effects.
- Increase your consumption of fresh, raw or lightly steamed fruits and vegetables. Good fruit choices include apples, bananas, grapes, mangoes, papayas, peaches, pears, prunes, kiwis, and other sub-acid fruits. Use discretion if the patient has blood sugar problems, although fruit often does not cause a problem, if the diet is low in fat and high in fiber. Good vegetables include asparagus, spinach, zucchini, parsley, artichoke (without the butter), kelp and other sea-veggies, okra, snow peas and many more. Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower as well as onions, chives, and peppers are very nutritious but may create digestive difficulties for some people. The solution is often simply chewing the food better and possibly adding supplemental digestive enzymes such as Metazyme or Beano. Spices such as ginger, garlic, onions, and tumeric (for example, curry), etc. are anti-inflammatory and should be used regularly if well tolerated.
- For snacks, consider raw vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds. The fruits and veggies contain lots of enzymes, bioflavonoids, and other phytochemicals, while the raw nuts and seeds are rich in essential fatty acids, especially flax seed, pumpkin and sunflower seed, walnuts and almond. These healthy snacks can be combined e.g. raw vegetable sticks dipped in tahini (ground sesame seeds) or almond butter. Eat organic grapes and blueberries.
- Increase high quality oils such as extra virgin, cold-pressed, olive oil, and flax seed oil.
- Increase high fiber foods – whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruit.
These suggestions are very helpful for most people with inflammatory conditions such as sprains, strains, bursitis, tendonitis, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, etc. and can be used in conjunction with anti-inflammatory medicines. Most people find that eating this way also often lowers blood lipids, C-Reactive Protein (CRP), smoothes out blood sugar variations, helps with weight management, reduces digestive problems, increases energy and more.
- Avoid fatty meats, whole milk products and refined sugar/sweeteners in all forms. Use extra virgin olive oil for dressing and extra virgin coconut oil for cooking.
- Use fiber in liberal amounts: oatmeal, oatbran, brown rice, wheat bran, psyllium seed husk powder, apples, applesauce, pears, carrots, celery, legumes, etc.
- Use garlic, onions, ginger, tumeric (curry powder) and olive oil liberally.
- Eat cold water fish regularly, especially salmon, halibut, sardines, mackerel, herring.
- Use soy products regularly: tofu, tempeh, soy milk, soy beans, soy protein powder.
- Limit alcohol to no more than one glass of red wine daily; eat organic grapes, blueberries, and other berries.
- Avoid coffee; drink tea instead (black tea, green tea, or herbal tea).
- Avoid eating in restaurants unless you can follow the above guidelines.
As most people know, there are a wide variety of nutritional supplements available in the marketplace. However, what most people do not know is that there is a serious problem in the U.S. with product quality due to the lack of regulation of these dietary supplements. Fortunately, there are some companies that stake their reputation on independent, third party evaluation of purity and potency and market their products only to licensed health care professionals. Over the 25 years Dr. Traub has been in practice, he has developed an inventory of such products in the office that address each patient’s specific needs and allow them to get exactly what they need without having to search for what he has recommended in health food stores.
Examples of vendors: Vital Nutrients, Thorne Research, Wise Woman Herbals