What Is a Healthy Heart Diet?
Just what is a healthy heart diet? This is a question I asked a doctor friend of mine. His reply sounded a bit ambiguous to me. “A varied diet that contains adequate percentages of fruit and vegetables.” was what he said. Being me, I thought I would study on the subject a bit more as although I have two arms, legs, eyes and ears I only have the one heart and apparently it is important to make sure that it doesn’t stop beating.
It turns out that it is not as simple as eating just the same old fruits and vegetables repeatedly, rather it is a large range of different fruits and vegetables as part of one’s diet. The reason is that our human ancestors only had access to various fruits, vegetables, leaves and nuts in their correct seasons. This means that even as “modern man” our bodies are still pre-programmed to eat a great variety of different foods and not something like a monoculture as people that eat burgers and fries every day do. It is the same with meat, we should not really stick to the flesh from one animal as that was also fairly rarely done in the past. I know that native Americans ate a lot of buffalo but they also has access to different types of deer and birds too.
I do not propose leeching the tannins out of acorns to make them palatable or eating the roots of sea kale and rushes but I do advocate making use of a lot of the different varieties of fruits and vegetable available today. Using modern methods of growing we can get an extended season by keeping worthwhile plants under glass. Then we have to think about how far food travels and if we want to pay the price of contaminating the earth with exhaust fumes from jet aircraft from warmer climes or heating greenhouses in the far north. It turns out there is less pollution caused by flying runner beans from Kenya than there is from growing them under glass during the winter in Holland.
In conclusion then, I have learned that a healthy heart diet is one that includes a great variety of different fruits, vegetables, pulses, nuts and meat. All of these foods have different benefits for our bodies and we should therefore eat them all when they are available. Lastly, I know that wine and chocolate were not around for our forbears in Africa and Europe until comparatively recently but they too can be included in our diet to keep our hearts healthy.