5 ways a heart-healthy diet helps beat cancer

Now that we’ve defined what a heart-healthy diet is, it’s probably easy to see how the benefits of a plant-based approach might just go way beyond your heart. And I’m not just talking about overall wellness, although of course, it’s good for that, too.

Turns out, when you eat in a way that helps lower cholesterol and improve overall heart health, you’re also helping lower risks associated with cancer, dementia, arthritis and other diseases.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you already know how passionate I am about the connection between diet and healthy longevity… because lowering your chances of getting a life-threatening disease plays a huge role in extending life span!

Here are some of the specific ways a whole food, plant-based heart-healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, helps prevent other diseases:

  1. It’s anti-inflammatory. Simply put, inflammation causes pain. So, when you control your body’s inflammatory response, you can control the discomfort of chronic diseases such as arthritis. Inflammation can also cause more subtle damage: It can impair arteries, metabolic organs and the brain. And that can have negative repercussions on a whole host of health issues, including blood vessel disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. 
  2. It promotes weight loss. Not everyone needs to lose weight, of course, but obesity is a risk factor for many types of cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight can contribute to a lower chance of developing cancer.
  3. It helps keep blood pressure in check. Because an unprocessed plant-based diet is naturally low in sodium, following this eating plan means you’re less likely to become hypertensive. A recent survey of studies found a higher risk of kidney, colorectal and breast cancer in people with hypertension, although it’s not clear if the link is causal.
  4. It reduces exposure to various toxins. Avoiding preservatives and compounds from smoked, cured and processed meats (a natural consequence of a plant-based diet) limits risks associated with developing stomach and colorectal cancers.
  5. It helps reduce the intake of added sugars. The relationship between diabetes and diet is a complex one, but scientists, doctors and dieticians agree that a few simple guidelines help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. And guess what half of a healthy plate should be filled with for anyone worried about diabetes? Yep, non-starchy vegetables.

The bottom line? If you’ve been eating a heart-healthy, plant-based diet (like my Step One Foods customers!), pat yourself on the back. You’re doing much more for your health than you may have realized.

Editor’s note: Discover how to live a cancer prevention lifestyle — using foods, vitamins, minerals and herbs — as well as little-known therapies allowed in other countries but denied to you by American mainstream medicine. Click here to discover Surviving Cancer! A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Causes, Treatments and Big Business Behind Medicine’s Most Frightening Diagnosis!

Dr. Elizabeth Klodas MD, FACC

By Dr. Elizabeth Klodas MD, FACC

"Diet is a major driver of high cholesterol, but instead of changing the food, we prescribe medications. This never seemed logical to me.” Dr. Klodas has dedicated her career to preventive cardiology. Trained at Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins, she is the founder and Chief Medical Officer for Step One Foods. Dr. Klodas is a nationally sought out speaker and has an active role at the American College of Cardiology. Her clinical interests include prevention of heart disease and non-invasive cardiac imaging and she has published dozens of scientific articles throughout her career. Dr. Klodas has been featured on CNN Health for her mission to change how heart disease is treated. An independent study performed at leading medical institutions affirmed the ability of Step One Foods to deliver measurable and meaningful cholesterol-reduction benefits in the real world. The results of the trial were presented at the 2018 American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions. Dr. Klodas has also authored a book for patients, "Slay the Giant: The Power of Prevention in Defeating Heart Disease," and served as founding Editor-in-Chief of the patient education effort of the American College of Cardiology. In addition to her practice and her duties at Step One Foods, she also serves as medical editor for webMD.