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Optimising Heart Health on Primal

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  • Optimising Heart Health on Primal

    I worry about my heart. I'll give details later in this post - I'm sorry it's long.

    TL;DR: I treated my heart and liver like punching bags for years. How can I maximize heart recovery/health with Primal diet?

    I have read convincing info here on overcoming CW about cholesterol and fats (I really do thank you for patiently repeating it to us newbies). Most of the information relates to weight loss or whole-body health. Heart benefits are usually mentioned only incidentally. I'm really looking for your thoughts on specific ways to laser-focus my diet to get the absolute most heart benefits.

    Like "eat as much of blah as you can" or "even though this is perfectly Primal, you should avoid it." Any thoughts on doing an aspirin regimen? I'm taking magnesium and a b-complex at night, fish oil, a generic multivitamin, and just picked up some fat vitamin D caps.

    More about me: at most I was up to about 270lbs (I'm 6'3"), ate "CW healthy" (whole wheat, vegetables, lean chicken, fish), rarely exercised and I drank too much most weekends. I just turned 30. A few years ago I started bicycling, played volleyball for two seasons, and this year I got a kayak and started doing pushups, etc.

    I've been 95% primal for two months (meat, veggies, healthy fats, no grain, dairy, sugar, or caffeine) and have been losing weight and gaining muscle. But I still worry about my heart. A year or so ago my doc told me my trigs were "a bit high". If I have a too many drinks now, my chest feels a bit twitchy around my left pec the next day. Paranoia? Maybe. I'm already working on cutting my booze intake; that's already on the books. Because of all these factors I worry daily about having a heart attack.

    I'm excited about the whole Primal plan for health and have been disciplined about refining my diet with each new piece of information I learn, so I promise you I'll take your advice to heart. Oh crap, I ended my first new thread with a pun.
    carl's cave

  • #2
    carlh - good work on at least starting the diet. Its an awesome foundation and just by changing to it you will be improving your heart(and overall) health.

    It looks like you are doing pretty well there, but you should really check out Dr William Davis' Heart Scan Blog. He is a cardiologist who has helped hundreds of people via a Paleo/Primal approach. His website his a bonanza of info.
    - Follow me on Twitter | Read my blog! - -

    Free Robb Wolf Paleo Meal Generator for iPhone
    IF Timer - The Original Intermittent Fasting iPhone App


    • #3
      Stop worrying. Heart disease is a disease of modern nutrition...period.

      Revert to a prima diet, and heart disease will NOT progress


      • #4
        1. Don't just eat primally, follow all 10 laws
        2. Minimise your polyunsaturated fat intake
        3. Get your omega 3 by eating plenty of fatty fish - mackerel and sardines are best
        4. Get enough Vitamin D (see the Vitamin D thread started by cillakat)
        5. Turmeric is a natural blood thinner and powerful antioxidant. You need to have it with chilli to maximise the benefit. Curries are ideal
        6. Cocoa is a natural blood thinner and powerful antioxidant. Have it without sugar
        7. Alcohol in moderation assists heart health. Red wine is supposed to be best but there is conflicting evidence
        8. Organ meat is rich in essential vitamins. Especially brains, liver and kidney
        9. Large doses of niacin in conjunction with the above can reverse coronary artery disease. I take 3000mg per day of nicotinic acid. Other forms of niacin don't work

        Don't take aspirin. It has been trialled for the prevention of heart events and proven to have no benefit if you haven't already had an event
        Four years Primal with influences from Jaminet & Shanahan and a focus on being anti-inflammatory. Using Primal to treat CVD and prevent stents from blocking free of drugs.

        Eat creatures nose-to-tail (animal, fowl, fish, crustacea, molluscs), a large variety of vegetables (raw, cooked and fermented, including safe starches), dairy (cheese & yoghurt), occasional fruit, cocoa, turmeric & red wine


        • #5
          paleo rob, thanks a lot for the link. I spent about half an hour reading through it last night and bookmarked it for later. Definitely interesting stuff.
          peril, also really very good info. I had not heard that about aspirin not helping unless you've already had an "episode". I will also start ramping up my fish curries. I had tilapia for the last two nights but that's not particularly fatty. Fortunately I love salmon.

          When you say avoid polyunsaturated fats that's things like (according to wiki) nuts, seeds, fish, algae, and leafy greens. I thought all that stuff was okay! I can easily ditch the nuts, but how do I eat (good) fatty fish while avoiding (bad) fatty fish?

          Thanks for all the thoughts!
          carl's cave


          • #6
            i dont think there is 'bad' fatty fish.... all seafood is healthy. i dont even know that i 'buy' into the fish oil thing either. not peril did say get omega 3 THROUGH FOOD.

            it just doesnt make sense to me that if you eat an ounce of walnuts and God forbid your Omega ratio is 6:1 that you need to take 5g of fish oil to make your ratio closer to 1:1....thats an excess of both, makes no sense. i eat a crapload of seafood throughout the week and i also eat almonds and chicken thighs/skin. i get omega 6 and i get omega 3.... EAT BOTH, but i really wouldnt go fish oil popping happy
            Get on my Level


            • #7
              The things that are high in O6 - forget wikipedia - are soybean oil, corn oil, vegetable oil, cottonseed oil, and canola oil. Eat foods that you can pull from the ground or capture with a net and club (theoretically at least!) and your omega levels will sort out their own issues. That's my basic philosophy.
              If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least and this (personal fave):