Heart-Healthy Tips

I recently interviewed an interventional cardiologist for a Bucks County Magazine health story. As a public service, I wanted to share his thoughts on diet and exercise.

The doctor believes in the Mediterranean diet:

  • High quantities of vegetables, such as tomatoes, kale, broccoli, spinach, carrots, cucumbers, and onions

  • Fresh fruit, such as apples, bananas, figs, dates, grapes, and melons

  • High consumption of legumes, beans, nuts, and seeds, such as almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and cashews

  • Whole grains such as whole wheat, oats, barley, buckwheat, corn, and brown rice

  • Olive oil as the main source of dietary fat, along with olives, avocados, and avocado oil

  • Cheese and yogurt as the main dairy foods, including Greek yogurt

  • Moderate amounts of fish and poultry, such as chicken, duck, turkey, salmon, sardines, and oysters

  • Moderate amount of eggs, including chicken, quail, and duck eggs

  • Very limited red meats.

  • Very limited sweets.

  • Water as the main beverage. And no sweetened drinks at all.

He also believes in these exercise guidelines:

For heathy adults, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity). The guidelines also suggest that this exercise be spread out during the course of the week—for example, 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity 5 days a week.

Moderate aerobic exercise includes activities such as brisk walking, water aerobics, gardening, playing doubles tennis, and biking slower than 10 miles per hour. Vigorous aerobic exercise includes running, swimming laps, heavy yardwork, playing singles tennis, biking 10 miles per hour or faster, and jumping rope.

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