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Coronary Artery Disease Diet

Coronary Artery Disease Diet

Follow a health lifestyle to prevent plaque built-up in your arteries.

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According to the National Institutes of Health, coronary artery disease (CAD), also called coronary heart disease, is a condition in which plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries. These arteries supply your heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood.

Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. When plaque builds up in the arteries, the condition is called atherosclerosis. Plaque narrows the arteries and reduces blood flow to your heart muscle. It also makes it more likely that blood clots will form in your arteries. Blood clots can partially or completely block blood flow.

When your coronary arteries are narrowed or blocked, oxygen-rich blood can't reach your heart muscle. This can cause angina or a heart attack.

While CAD is very serious, it can be prevented by following a healthy lifestyle that includes diet and exercise. For many people who are at risk for CAD, simply by making these lifestyle changes, which will result in weight loss, lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels, will be enough to reverse the disease or prevent the progression of any risk factors.

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  • Diet is a lifestyle
  • Can take the place of medication and other expensive and invasive treatments
  • Will result in a host of other health benefits
  • Can be followed by men, women and children
  • Must be followed in the long-term
  • Some individuals with extreme CAD may also require medication

Following a heart healthy diet that aims to reduce cholesterol intake, lower blood pressure and lower body weight is the medically-approved and recommended nutrition plan for those with CAD.

Here are some of the main principles of the CAD diet:

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables, preferably fresh and in their whole or minimally-dressed form.
  • Eat more legumes and beans as a source of protein rather than animal protein.
  • Eat fish, particularly fish with omega-3 fats, like salmon.
  • Limit alcohol as too much alcohol will raise your blood pressure and triglyceride level. In addition, alcohol is source of empty calories, which can lead to weight gain.
  • Avoid or severely limit the amount of sugar, refined flours and fried foods you eat.
  • Limit sodium intake as too much sodium has been linked to hypertension.

A typical day on the CAD diet might look like this:

  • Breakfast: Whole grain oatmeal topped with raspberries, blueberries and a few slivered almonds and coffee with skim milk.
  • Lunch: Lentil soup with a large green salad or grilled shrimp skewers and roasted tomatoes and green beans.
  • Dinner: Marinated tofu with bok choy, broccoli and carrots or white fish steamed in parchment paper and served with grilled eggplant, onions and yellow bell peppers.
  • Snacks: Fresh fruit, small amounts of raw nuts, crudites, steamed edamame and low-fat yogurt.

According to the Nationals Institutes of Health, regular physical activity can lower many CAD risk factors, including LDL ("bad") cholesterol, high blood pressure, and excess weight. Physical activity also can lower your risk for diabetes and raise your levels of HDL cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol that helps prevent CAD).

You are encouraged to check your doctor about how much and what kinds of physical activity are safe for you. Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, try to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most or all days of the week. You can do the activity all at once or break it up into shorter periods of at least 10 minutes each.

Moderate-intensity activities include brisk walking, dancing, bowling, bicycling, gardening, and housecleaning.

More intense activities, such as jogging, swimming, and various sports, also may be appropriate for shorter periods.


Coronary Artery Disease is a chronic condition that results over time as the arteries become clogged with plaque. While this condition can result in a fatal heart attack, it can be prevented by following a healthy lifestyle.

As long as you keep your weight in a healthy range, eat a heart-healthy and low-fat diet, don't smoke and engage in daily exercise, you can prevent CAD or reverse its effects.

If you have been diagnosed with CAD, talk to your doctor about adopting a CAD diet and lifestyle.

Common Misspellings

coronary heart disease diet, CDA diet, cornary heart disease diet, conory heart disease diet, heart disease diet, atherosclerosis diet

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posted Sep 29th, 2011 5:26 pm


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