Heart disease is a collective term for a range of conditions affecting the heart and its blood vessels. Coronary heart disease is when there is a narrowing or blockage of the blood vessels that carry blood and oxygen to the heart. It is usually caused by a build-up of plaque in the coronary artery walls which limits blood flow to the heart and may lead to a heart attack. This build-up of plaque can also cause hardening and narrowing of the arteries.
Genetics (a family history) and environmental factors can play a major role in the development of heart disease. Despite this fact, people in higher body weights frequently get told by GPs and other health professionals that their higher body size is to blame, despite people in thinner bodies also getting diagnosed with heart disease.
Other risk factors for heart disease include:
- high blood cholesterol or triglycerides
- high blood pressure
- high blood sugars
- chronic stress
- being sedentary
- a high alcohol consumption and habitual smoking
- a diet high in saturated fats
How our dietitians can help with coronary heart disease
- learning how food can be used to support your body in lowering LDL and increasing HDL cholesterol levels
- understanding the principles of the Mediterranean diet, benefits for heart health and exploring changes to support this lifestyle of eating
- ensuring your diet is not unnecessarily restricted
- assessing the overall nutritional adequacy of your diet to ensure recommended dietary intakes are met
- recommending options for dietary supplementation to support heart health
- educating on the harmful effects of weight cycling (yoyo dieting) which increases the risk of coronary heart disease
- helping explore options for joyful movement
- helping advocate against weight loss and dieting interventions commonly prescribed by medical professionals which are harmful, unethical, and non-evidence-based
- helping advocate for the same treatment options and tests as would be recommended for people in thinner bodies
- recommending guidelines for safe and mindful intake of alcohol
- understanding the link between diet, oral health, and heart disease
- helping explore options for stress management and avenues and resources for further support
Our Dietitians take a holistic and gentle approach to nutrition for chronic medical conditions such as heart disease. We understand that health is complex and is influenced by many factors, some out of your control. We are non-judgmental, and our recommendations are evidence-based and we take a weight-neutral approach.