Cutting your risk of heart disease can be achieved with good dietary habits or, as we like to call it, an anti-heart disease diet. The truth is that adding the right foods and avoiding others can keep heart disease at bay. The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study shows that the anti-heart disease diet can protect from heart attack because it contributes to a slimmer waistline. Increased waist circumference, however, greatly contributes to the chances of men developing heart disease.

According to Professor Elio Riboli, coordinator of the EPIC study, “the good news is that you don't need to take an expensive test and wait ages for the result to assess this aspect of your health — it costs virtually nothing to measure your waist and hip size… If you have a large waist, you probably need to increase the amount of exercise you do every day, avoid excessive alcohol consumption and improve your diet. This could make a huge difference in reducing your risk of an early death."

Combating heart disease is easy if you watch what you eat and adopt an anti-heart disease diet. Foods and chemicals can cause inflammation in the lining of the blood vessels, promoting the formation of plaque (atherosclerosis) that can lead to heart attack. Recent studies show that food can play a big role as ant-heart disease weapons. It is not just about exercise, as every two inch increase in waist size also increases our risk of death by 17%. Even if you are not obese, a thicker waistline can set off a series of hormonal releases that lead to inflammation in the body, which then leads to heart disease.

Helping you fend off an early grave is the anti-heart disease diet.

Mediterranean Diet (including nuts)

Enjoy a handful of nuts daily. By adding about an ounce of mixed nuts to a Mediterranean diet, you add good fat that fights heart disease. Nuts should be an integral part of an anti-heart disease diet. Almonds, walnuts and pistachios are all beneficial in the fight against heart disease.

Limit Your Alcohol Intake

Red and white wine is beneficial for heart health, but too much alcohol, especially in the form of binge drinking, can lead to trouble that promotes heart disease. Calorie-laden beer can contribute to heart disease because too many calories increase the body mass index. It would be best to limit your alcohol consumption in your anti-heart disease diet to a moderate intake of red or white wine to reduce your risk of heart disease.

Avoid Pre-Packaged, Processed Foods

Processed foods contain chemicals that can cause inflammation in the lining of the blood vessels, leading to heart disease. An anti-heart disease diet should include a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that are rich in anti-oxidants.

Phthalates, found in plastic food packaging can disrupt the endocrine system, which promotes abdominal obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Phthalates lower testosterone levels in men, causing metabolic syndrome — high cholesterol and triglycerides, abdominal obesity, high blood pressure and elevated CRP levels (a marker of inflammation).

Consider the role of BPA from plastic bottles, also found in the lining of canned foods: BPA from the environment, including food packaging is shown to increase heart disease risk by contributing to metabolic syndrome.

Whole Grains Help Prevent Heart Disease

Brown rice, wheat pasta and whole grains are a much better dietary choices than white bread and pasta that turn to sugar in the body. A much better alternative to baked goods is a whole grain muffin and fresh fruit.

You do not have to avoid sweets altogether in your anti-heart disease diet; one square of dark chocolate daily is a great addition to lower C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in the body. CRP is measurable with a blood test from your doctor, and is known to predict your risk of heart attack.

Avoid MSG

You will find MSG in many foods, especially packaged goods, and studies show that MSG contributes to obesity. MSG crosses the blood-brain barrier, sending signals to the brain that destroy blood cells. The result is improper distribution of fat that settles in the abdomen, contributing to heart disease. Eliminating MSG is a serious consideration as a weapon against heart disease.

Eat Several Servings of Fish a Week

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for avoiding heart disease and heart attacks. A balance of Omega-3, -6 and -9 fatty acids is a powerful combination for reducing heart disease. Typically, we eat too much meat, which contain omega-6 fatty acids and upset the balance. Walnuts, soybeans and tofu are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and should be an integral part of a anti-heart disease diet, as well as salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel. Try to eat several serving of fish per week.

Eat Plenty of Grapes

Grapes stand out as a dietary addition to avoid heart disease. Researchers have recently discovered that grapes are even more powerful than previously believed to mediate inflammation in the body. They studied rats that were given diets high in salt and found that grapes were so powerful that they reduced the impact of salt on high blood pressure.

It’s a Balancing Act

Exercise, combined with an anti-heart disease diet can help you live longer, feel great and prevent heart attack. How easy is that?

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