What a heart-healthy diet looks like

Vegetables and Fruits Arrangement

Skittles had it right with its encouraging slogan of “taste the rainbow.” Unfortunately, a diet of Skittles isn’t going to help ward off heart disease.

“Foods with bright colors are packed with the antioxidants that reduce the inflammation that leads to heart disease,” says Nicolette M. Pace, R.D., the founder of NutriSource Inc., which specializes in nutrition-based disease prevention and treatment. “Red and yellow have the carotenoids: Carrots, tomatoes, apricots and cantaloupes are all high sources. Red also has lycopene and lutein. The polyphenols in berries and grapes protect the arteries from free radical damage, too.”

The re-thinking of fats is significant news in heart disease prevention: What was bad is now thought of as good, or at least OK. For example, a bit of butter in your diet won’t be the end of the world, Pace says, but margarine and other processed substitutes should be used with caution: “Now, the thinking is that over-processed fat products can cause artery damage.”

Also OK? “Animal fats in moderation,” she says, which means you don’t have to put down the bacon entirely: “Bacon has been taken off the taboo list, but it’s a fat, not a protein, and should be used to flavor.” What Pace says to take off your list? Surprisingly, it’s turkey bacon, because it’s “a horrible processed product,” she says.

Even alcohol isn’t seen as such a demon anymore. “Wine has health benefits, and it’s not just the polyphenols, it’s the alcohol,” says Pace. “The benefit comes from moderate drinking. That’s not five drinks in one session, that’s five drinks in a week.”

Pace also advises adopting a whole food diet with natural fiber-rich foods such as whole grains and beans, which decrease coronary risks by controlling blood sugars and weight.

The foods to cut right now
Pace recommends re-evaluating fat, salt, sugar and calorie-laden snack foods: “Snack foods are generally low satiety. They’re usually the things we crave because of the salty or sweet flavor, or the crunch appeal. And they are usually the things that are easily and quickly consumed. Also, sweetened beverages, not just sodas, but the flavored coffees and the so-called healthy smoothies loaded with fat and high fructose corn syrup. Those are bad for the heart.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Crews battle fires in Dorchester, Cambridge overnight

Fires ripped through homes in Dorchester and Cambridge overnight causing injuries and displacing scores of residents.

International

Putin fields question from U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden, the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of intelligence eavesdropping, asked Russian President Vladimir Putin a question on Thursday during…

Local

Boston hospitals apply lessons learned in Marathon bombings

The bombs at last year's Boston Marathon showcased the city's medical talent but also taught valuable lessons in responding to a mass disaster.

National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

The Word

Lawsuit accuses 'X-Men' director Bryan Singer of raping…

A new lawsuit accuses director Bryan Singer of sexual assault against a minor.

Movies

The Cannes Film Festival announces its 2014 lineup

The lineup of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival was announced this morning, promising the latest from a slew of usual (and some unusual) suspects.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox beat White Sox…

Red Sox walk 15 times in extra innings win

NBA

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics:…

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics: 'I hope to be back'

NBA

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery…

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery odds with loss

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.