Despite what many so-called “experts” want you to believe, usually to push an agenda or diet, a high protein diet is good for your heart. However, it does require balance and the consumption of the proper amounts and right kinds of protein for that to mean anything. Learn about how protein impacts your heart health as well as important nutrients found in protein like arginine.
Building a Stronger Heart with Protein
Since your heart is a muscle, the strongest one in the body to be precise, it needs protein to stay strong. Many reputable studies have shown that a healthy protein diet can help to lower the bad kind of cholesterol (LDL), triglycerides, and blood pressure. Additionally, excess weight loss is basically guaranteed when you switch to a heart healthy high protein diet, which will make your body even stronger! What creates such a blur in this area are diets like Atkins which have traditionally encouraged a free for all eating frenzy of any type of protein you can get your hands on. Ideally, you should combine a high protein diet with low fat and low sodium guidelines as well.
Which Forms of Protein to Avoid
The reason high protein diets have gotten such bad press is they are full of the wrong kinds of proteins. A bad protein is the kind that is high fat, high calories, high cholesterol, high sodium, high salt, low nutrition – and any single or combination of these negative factors.
Processed Meats and Deli Meats
Processed foods are plain out horrible for your health, but processed meats just take it to a whole new level! Avoid hot dogs, bacon, jerky, sliced meats, and anything made with nitrates or that is cured.
Foods like red meats can be heart destroyers – not only that, they also lead to other serious health problems like cancer! Skip the steaks, hamburgers, ham, veal, and lamb and substitute of white meat instead.
Whole eggs contain high levels of cholesterol and should be avoided, and if not avoided then severely limited.
Sorry cheese lovers, but there is not much wiggle room with this one! Cheese is very high in fat, preservatives, and sodium.
Certain Kinds of Seafood
Even though seafood is naturally low in fat, certain types of seafood are very high in sodium and can raise blood pressure. Avoid shellfish, bass, canned tuna, and mackerel.
What is a Good Form of Protein?
A good high protein diet includes the elimination of the foods mentioned above. Healthy and lean proteins come from sources like poultry, egg whites, oatmeal, soy, black beans, nuts, and various kinds of seeds. Additionally, most good protein sources are high in other heart healthy nutrients like arginine, or L-arginine, which have been proved to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol without medication. Don’t be scared off by protein, it is a vital part of your diet – just be smart about the kind you eat!