As you may know, your calcium heart score is a predictor of coronary disease. Essentially, your score represents the relative amount of plaque in your coronary arteries and your level of risk for heart disease or suffering a heart attack. It is a score of zero to 1000. Typically, a score of more than 400 indicated an increased chance of developing heart disease or suffering a heart attack in the next two to five years. Once you know your score, calcification increases at 10 to 20 percent each year.
Reducing Your Calcium Heart Score without Statins
The good news is, there are steps you can take to reduce the increase in calcification, and in some cases even reduce it. And, you can do it without the use of statins and other medications that lower LDL cholesterol and reduce inflammation. Below are some foods and alternatives that can be used to help lower your calcium heart score.
Plant Sterol or Phytosterols: These are the plant version of cholesterol and when you eat them, they block the absorption of cholesterol and assist in lowering LDL level. Some products with these sterols include Metagenic UltraMeal Cardio 360, Cholestoff, Muduchol, Benecol Spread, and Step One Foods.
Soy Protein: Soy products contain isoflavones which are similar to estrogen (don’t worry men, there are no negative side-effects). Estrogen is known to prevent heart disease by increasing the number of LDL cholesterol receptors in the liver. So, fill up on unsweetened soy milk, edamame, and soy nuts.
Garlic: Eating garlic will make your food taste better, as well as help stop artery-clogging plaque at its earliest stages. Two to four fresh cloves a day or 600 mg of Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract will help lower your LDL cholesterol levels as it decreases HMG-CoA reductase activities. Also, garlic will lower the number of cholesterol-carrying lipoproteins in your system.
Metamucil: High fiber diets have been shown to reduce heart disease.
Barely and Oatmeal: Another good source of fiber, but whole grains also contain plant hormones that lower cholesterol. They contain beta-glucan, which acts like a sponge to absorb and drive out LDL in your body.
Flaxseed: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseeds are great anti-inflammatory agents that also help reduce the risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis. About 2 tablespoons of ground or milled flaxseeds should work.
Apples: You’ve heard the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” While not entirely true, we do know that an apple a day helps reduce blood clotting as they are high in soluble fiber. Also, apples are a great source of antioxidants, which prevent atherosclerosis.
Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehab Program
South Denver Cardiology Associates a Centura Health Clinic is the first Cardiac Rehab site to offer the Pritikin ICRTM program in Colorado. Having a heart event can be a challenging and emotional experience. As you begin your recovery, South Denver Cardiology and Pritikin are ready to help you. Learn more about Pritikin ICR TM here.
South Denver Cardiology will provide the support and education you need as you commit to a new, healthier lifestyle. Your cardiac rehab team will consist of experts in the fields of exercise, medicine, nutrition, and mental health. Together, they will monitor your progress and help you achieve your health and wellness goals. The traditional Cardiac Rehab at South Denver Cardiology was founded in 1977 and is synonymous with total cardiac wellness and is proud to be recognized by the national accrediting body in cardiac rehab, the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). Adding the Pritikin program takes Cardiac Rehab to the next level of excellence in health care and wellness.
The Pritikin Program emphasizes exercise, a healthy mindset, and an eating plan focused on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, lean meat, nonfat dairy, and protein-rich plant foods like legumes, or beans. This clinically proven program is intended to reduce your risk of heart disease and may lower your calcium heart score.
How to Use this Information
If you have a calcium heart score over 400, we do encourage you to eat the foods listed above, or even consider our Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehab program. If you need a calcium heart score test, we offer those for $99. It takes very little time and is a simple scan. Call us today or make an appointment online.