About 600,000 people die of heart disease every year in the U.S., while many more will suffer from, but survive, a painful heart attack.
FOX 26 News spoke with Sports Cardiologist Dr. John Higgins from U.T. Health, Memorial Hermann, and Harris Health, to find out about healthy foods that can strengthen your heart. He says it's important to first of all know and understand three basic food groups: fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
"What we believe and know more about is it's really important to not have the super-processed version of these foods, which we've been doing for a long time. Get back to the basics! Rather than candies, sweets, cakes, and carbs, we want you to go to basic sources of sugar like fruits, some vegetables, unprocessed rice, and some other whole grains. For the protein, it's important to have fish each week, especially white fish, which is more beneficial for the heart. Get it fresh, because the canned often has added preservatives. Lean meat, like chicken, is good, as well as beef and make sure it's lean. Finally for the fats, be careful of what you cook with - not regular saturated fat oil. It's important to convert that over to a mono-unsaturated and/or olive oil and use olive oil and other oils when you're cooking, as well as salads," explains Dr. Higgins.
He also says what you probably dread to hear: If it looks fat and it's greasy, it's probably not good for you!
"Even though it might taste good, that should be a signal to you that, hey I need to cut down on the amount of fats I'm having," says Dr. Higgins.
For more information about Dr. Higgins, visit https://med.uth.edu/im/faculty-staff/john-p-higgins.
For heart-healthy recipes, visit http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Recipes/Recipes_UCM_001184_SubHomePage.jsp?gclid=COGD8JvW8b0CFVKFfgodPrMAHA.