No cheating when eating: Your arteries will thank you
In "Super Size Me," Morgan Spurlock proved that eating nothing but fast food for a month is disheartening (he became despondent, his cholesterol rose 65 points and he had heart palpitations) and inflating (he gained 24 pounds). What he didn't know was that even one fast-food meal -- just ONE -- damages your arteries. If you slam a sausage, egg and cheese sandwich, plus hash browns (58 percent of calories from saturated fat and no omega-3s), your arteries become 24 percent less dilated (more tight and stiff). That's a trigger for restricted blood flow, lack of energy and impotence.
So instead, try our Happy Arteries meal plan!
1. Start with a high-fiber breakfast of 100 percent whole grains and nonfat dairy (for protein). Women: Aim for 30 grams of fiber a day. Men: 30 to 40 grams. Gals reduce their risk of breast cancer, and everyone lowers LDL cholesterol, eases gastro upset and cuts the risk of diabetes by about 61 percent.
2. For lunch, opt for walnuts, salmon and vegetables cooked in olive oil (loaded with omega-3s and omega-9s, both healthy fats). Your arteries relax and blood pressure goes down -- that's heart healthy.
3. Have plenty of protein, spread out in three meals and two snacks. You need about 66 grams a day if you weigh 165 pounds. Sources: beans, edamame and nuts (they have 16 to 18 grams per cup), nonfat dairy, skinless poultry, and fish -- particularly omega-3-rich salmon and trout.
4. Bonus Tip: Pay with cash at the grocers. You'll cut down on the bad-for-you (impulse) stuff and end up making healthier purchases.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.RealAge.com.