Eat to Cut Your Risk for Heart Disease

Check out your pantry. Take stock of your fridge. Experts believe what you eat can play a critical role in cutting your risk for heart disease. As part of our special report, “Healthy Cooking,” here’s what it took for one couple to have a change of heart.

Carol Pock enjoys teaching others the dos and don’ts of eating healthy. She’s a breast cancer survivor, but it was her husband’s illness that changed her life.

“I used to say to Carol, “The world is full of good things to eat, and I’m going to have my way with them all,” and that was wrong. That statement actually almost took my life,” says her husband, Les.

After a scare with heart disease, they made a drastic change. Carol spent years doing research and is now a wellness consultant.

“A lifestyle change doesn’t have a beginning, middle and an end,” explains Carol. It’s ongoing, and every day you get to start again.”

Carol’s written a cookbook that outlines six steps to heart-healthy eating called Recipes for the Heart, Morsels for the Soul.

“We’re looking at five servings a day of fruits and vegetables. They have been known to be fantastic for prevention for heart disease,” she says.

Some are also known as good sources of anti-oxidants, foods rich in vitamins A, C and E.

Carol says, “Another thing: We want to cut down on that saturated fat. You want to eat peels, seeds, anything that adds fiber that makes it easier for the body to digest foods.”

She also suggests cutting down on salt and processed food, but that doesn’t mean cutting out taste, as she shows her classes when she makes fruit trifles.

Lou says, “I can’t imagine cooking the way I did before. It just doesn’t taste good anymore. I feel better when I cook healthy.”

Carol says abstain from alcohol when possible, and she stresses regular exercise is always important to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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