Posted on July 18 2021
Heart disease is the number 1 killer among adult men and women, especially in the western world. Furthermore, according to medical experts, about 65% of 12 to 14-year-olds in the western world have early signs of cholesterol in their blood vessels.
Before we get into Indian Diet Plan For Angioplasty Patients, let's understand few other things.
Heart diseases are preventable and in many cases, even reversible through nutritional changes. Just making simple lifestyle tweaks and adopting healthier nutritional habits can go a long way to become a powerful weapon against heart diseases.
Cardiovascular diseases, including coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke, and hypertension, are obscenely common in this growing population.
According to the American Heart Association, nearly half of all Americans (48%) live with some form of cardiovascular disease, and two-thirds have at least two major cardiovascular risk factors such as high cholesterol, poor diet quality, and an inactive lifestyle.
What is Angioplasty?
One common cardiovascular diseases is Coronary Artery Disease (CAD).
It is a condition when any heart's arteries, also called the coronary arteries, become narrowed or blocked by a buildup of cholesterol plaques.
Atherosclerosis is one such condition in which circulating lipids, such as fats and cholesterol in the bloodstream, collect along the walls of arteries. This fatty material thickens and forms plaques that narrow and may eventually block blood flow through the arteries.
Stopping or slowing plaque accumulation is where drugs like statins and Angioplasty, Stent Placement, and Bypass surgeries enter the picture.
Angioplasty or stent placement has become standard for people experiencing a heart attack and those whose coronary arteries appear narrowed on imaging tests.
In these procedures, a coil-shaped stent is placed inside the narrowed artery to hold it open and allow blood and oxygen to flow to the heart muscle again.
Does Angioplasty work?
Although a standard procedure for patients even with non-emergency coronary artery disease, there has been growing evidence proving that it provides minimal benefit.
On the one hand, it does not prevent heart attacks or death, in fact, it adversely leads to a few severe complications such as bleeding or damage to a blood vessel or sometimes even more heart attack and strokes.
Randomised control research studies done on thousands of patients show no benefits in terms of increased longevity or heart diseases prevention following people post surgery.
This is because most heart attacks are actually not caused by blocked arteries. Sten procedures are only approved if your artery is blocked by 70% or more.
In reality though, heart attacks are caused by arteries blocked by 50% or even less. It is when the cholesterol bound to the arterial walls burst (like a pimple) and causes a sudden blood clot in the artery that it leads to a heart attack.
Watch this to understand more:
Either ways, Angioplasty is not a cure, but rather just a cellophane tape covering a crack. With cracks on the wall, the building might still fall anytime.
Good news: You can clear your blood vessels of cholesterol in as little as 6-10 weeks with lifestyle and nutritional changes alone!
To understand CAV diseases, let's first understand cholesterol.
Common misconceptions regarding Cholesterol.
Now, coming to cholesterol, most cardiologists agree that excessive LDL cholesterol, produced by the liver, is a significant contributor to plaque buildup.
Therefore, high levels of cholesterol mean living with a greater risk of a heart attack.
For every 1 percent increase in the amount of cholesterol in the average person's blood, there is about a 2 percent increase in the risk of a heart attack; on the contrary, every 1 percent reduction from the average cholesterol level reduces the risk by about 2 percent.
However, there are some common misconceptions around the understanding of cholesterol and its functions in our body. Cholesterol is a molecule made in our liver and is essential for our living.
It is the root-stock molecule out of which vital substances such as cortisol, estrogen, myelin, cell membranes, testosterone, and many others emerge. Thus, cholesterol is important. But human body produces the necessary amount of cholesterol by itself. The problem is when we increase our intake of dietary cholesterol in the name of health.
Foods such as eggs, meat and dairy contain too much cholesterol, which clogs the blood vessels. We do not need dietary cholesterol. Time and again, multiple studies have linked dietary cholesterol to heart diseases.
So wait Eggs are bad?? Read this:
Another misconception is regarding the accepted 'normal' level of cholesterol. For example, the average cholesterol level in the U.S. is 210. Although it seems to vary among experts and doctors, cholesterol levels below 150 are much better accepted by medical fraternities worldwide.
Cholesterol and its link to Cancer.
The link between cholesterol and cancer has been studied since the late 1960s. In 1969, a correlation analysis found a reasonably strong correlation between animal protein intake and intestinal cancer mortality.
A significant correlation is found between high consumption of cholesterol-containing food items and the worldwide distribution of colon cancer even after controlling for other dietary factors such as animal fat and fiber.
Since our body makes all the cholesterol that it needs, the extra cholesterol consumed goes down our colon. Colon cancer arises in the cells lining our colon, constantly exposed to fecal cholesterol, making it easily susceptible to the disease.
The amount of cholesterol we eat could thus determine the rate of development, growth, or spread of such a tumor.
After several years since these studies, the research conducted in recent years found the association between dietary cholesterol intake and increased risk of cancers of the stomach, colon, rectum, pancreas, lung, breast, kidney, bladder, and bone marrow.
The findings of these studies should be viewed as an indication that a diet rich in non-plant-based products is an unfavourable indicator of the risk of several common cancers.
Do eggs cause cholesterol?
Eggs are the most concentrated source of cholesterol in the diet. Having a single egg per day could fit under the 300-milligram daily limit for cholesterol recommended by the American Heart Association.
Watch this to know more:
Cholesterol and its link to breast cancer.
According to studies, 1 in 8 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes. Additionally, increasing evidence proves the role that cholesterol may play in developing and progressing breast cancer.
Cancer feeds on cholesterol, and hence the transformed cells take up LDL, i.e., lousy cholesterol, and are capable of stimulating the growth of human breast cancer cells in a petri dish.
According to a study, there was a 17% increased risk in women who had cholesterol over 240, compared to women whose cholesterol was under 160.
Studies also found that patient survival may be lowest when cholesterol intake was highest. These surveys indicate the risk associate with cholesterol and breast cancer.
The best nutrition plan to reverse/ manage CVD.
Whole Food Plant-Based Eating.
Plant-based diets have increased in popularity due to environmental and animal welfare concerns, and multiple health benefits.
A whole food plant- based diet is the closest to natural food as possible. It includes everything that grown on the planet earth, and excludes animals and animal products such as honey, eggs, meat and dairy.
Conversely, the standard Indian diet, which consists of added oils, dairy, meat, fish, sugary foods, and alcohol, which are highly toxic, makes food one of the significant causes of CAD.
The standard western diet's contain large amounts of cholesterol and saturated fats, which can cause the heart arteries to become stiff and clogged.
However, multiple studies exhibit the benefit of a plant-based diet on cardiovascular risk factors compared to no intervention or usual dietary patterns.
Plus, the high fiber content of a vegetarian diet helps eliminate excess cholesterol from the digestive tract.
There have been studies in places like rural China, Okinawa, and Japan that thrive on whole food, plant-based nutrition (WFPBN) with minimal intake of animal products, and therefore have the lowest rates of cardiovascular diseases.
In 2014, an extensive study of 198 patients with significant CAD was conducted by Dr. Caldwell B Esselstyn. Of these patients, 119 had undergone a prior coronary intervention with stents or bypass surgery, and 44 had a previous heart attack.
There were multiple co-morbidities, including hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, obesity, and diabetes.
During four years of follow-up, 99.4% of the participants who adhered to a plant-based diet avoided any major cardiac event, including heart attack, stroke, death, and angina. In fact, heart conditions actually improved or resolved in 93%. Of the 21 non-adherent participants, 13 (62%) experienced an adverse event in those four years.
What are the areas of impact from a plant-based diet?
So how exactly does a plant- based diet help with risk management?
There are a few areas in which a plant-based diet explicitly impacts your body's overall cardiovascular functioning.
Elevated serum levels of inflammation increase risk factors for CAD, as well as incidents leading to it. Plant-based diets, however, decrease serum levels of inflammation and may be protective.
Plant-Based Diets are naturally high in antioxidants and other bioactive compounds, that may be protective by reducing levels of free radicals that are otherwise known to promote inflammation.
Micro-biome (Gut health)
The gut micro-biome consists of around 100 trillion microorganisms and impacts our immunologic, cardiovascular, and overall health.
For example, the pro-atherogenic compound Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) is formed, in part, via the interplay of the gut microbiome with the nutrients L-carnitine and choline. And increasing TMAO level is associated with increasing severity of CAD and overall mortality.
Guess what food has the most TMAO? Eggs! Followed closely by animal meat.
Alternatively, plants help feed the anti- inflammatory bacteria in the gut. They also exclusively contain soluble dietary fiber, which nourishes healthful bacteria in the colon, enabling them to produce short-chain fatty acids, leading to reduced cholesterol biosynthesis. Read this article for more:
Hypertension is a common precursor to CAD, increasing its risk by 2 to 3 fold. Accordingly, a blood pressure of ≥160/100 vs. <140/90 doubled the lifetime risk of incident CVD.
Plant-Based Diets lower's both systolic and diastolic BP through several mechanisms, such as favorably modifying the renin-angiotensin and sympathetic nervous systems, more significant potassium and decreased sodium consumption, and improved blood vessel dilation.
“Weight is not a behavioral habit, but is rather a combination of calories in, calories out, genetic inputs, cultural forces, the health of your intestinal “microbiome”, stress and other factors.” - Dr. Joel K. Kahn Md
Hyper-lipidemia (High level's of fat particles in the blood)
Plant-based diets lower serum lipid levels mainly due to their soluble fiber, phytosterols, low saturated fat content, absence of cholesterol, and their ability to reduce cholesterol formation.
Moreover, such diets may also render low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol particles less prone to oxidation.
There are also other areas of impact, such as obesity and diabetes, which also directly affect the probabilities of CVD or CAD.
Lifestyle changes and dos and don'ts after Angioplasty
The heart is a remarkable organ hard at work for you, beating over 100,000 times, pumping 2,000 gallons of blood through 50,000 miles of arteries every single day.
Therefore, some mindful practices of lifestyle changes and self-care tips can be very beneficial after Angioplasty or even before that.
- Adopt a whole food plant-based lifestyle. Notice I did not use the word 'diet'. Make eating plant- based our lifestyle. Cut off meat/ dairy/ processed foods completely. Use plant-based foods to heal the body and protect the heart. Trust me, this is much easier than you feel.
- Kick Your Smoking Habit. More than 34.3 million globally are addicted to smoking. Therefore, giving up smoking is essential for a healthy heart. This includes sheesha's, hooks and passive smoking.
- Be More Active. You have to get moving and your blood pumping for a minimum of 30 minutes each day for a healthy heart. It is a great way to control and lower all forms of co-morbidities in a person.
- Abstain from alcohol. Regulating or even giving up alcohol is a good step towards a healthy heart.
- Maintain optimal body weight. Keeping an optimal body weight is critical to heart health. BMI is a good indicator of a healthy weight than just the measurement of weight alone.
Get enough sleep: Your heart needs 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night to rejuvenate. It also helps lower blood pressure levels, and you will be less prone to develop clogged arteries.
Foods To Eat After Angioplasty.
- Fruits and vegetables with at least 6 to 8 servings per day supply all necessary vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- 2-3 servings of Whole grains, such as brown and wild rice, whole wheat, barley, corn, and even plain popcorn, retain their fiber with heart-health benefits.
- 3 servings of legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils are good sources of fiber and low-fat protein.
- Heart-healthy omega- 3 sources such as flaxseeds, avocados, olives and hemp seeds.
- Nuts including walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, and pistachios are also heart-healthy snacks. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and some protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
A sample meal plan would include starting the day with a big bowl of barley khichdi with vegetables and spices. This is followed by a cup of fruits and herbal tea.
Lunch can be sprout based stir- fry or salad, followed by whole wheat phulka's and mix veg sabzi (minimum to no oil's) and daal.
Fresh and seasonal fruits and nuts/ seeds are great snack options.
Ending the day with brown rice lobia pulao and soup of cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower or cabbage.
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