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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Heart Attack Scare

My father had a heart attack on Sunday. It came out of nowhere. He is recovering well right now, but the doctors warned him that he must make a complete lifestyle overhaul. No smoking, lots of exercise, and a low-calorie diet.

This is what I am wrestling with: My research has shown me that an optimal diet consists of good fats and even saturated fat. But the doctors want to put my father on, essentially, the Pritikin Diet, which is low-fat, low-calorie, and very bland. It has a heavy emphasis on fruits and vegetables. The Pritikin Diet is seemingly opposite of The Maker's Diet or The South Beach Diet. I refer to these not as diets, but as ways of life and eating.

I feel like the research that is in favor of a diet heavy in animal protein is a bit misleading. How does a heart patient subscribe to this life plan? He simply cannot at this point. To unclog his body of plaque and atherosclerosis and waste, he must eat a diet that is heavy in plant food. I will encourage him to do this. I also need to rethink my own way of eating. While it seems like eating "low-carb" is a good way for me to lose weight, I really do feel better when I am eating like a vegetarian. My body knows that this way of eating is better for me. The nutrients and vitamins are alive and my body can use each part of the plant food. I want to encourage my dad to think about this, too. I will keep you updated.

1 comment:

Brandy said...

Oh, Jen, how scary!

I totally understand why you would have trouble with the diet issues. Low-fat, low-cal diets can be scary, scary, scary. I get concerned about a relative of mine, who has been put on a very low cholesterol diet, even though my reading says this can cause brain problems because the brain requires a lot of cholesterol to thrive.

I wonder if your dad would do research and try also getting those good fats? We take, for instance, cod liver oil daily, which is an awesome fat. Saturated fats like organic palm or naturally fermented coconut oil are also heart-friendly. Ack. It is so hard to know what to do...

I will pray for him (and you).

By the way, did you know that some heart attacks are caused by viruses? Because of this, we have to be careful not to beat ourselves up too badly! Some things, we simply cannot control.

Keep us posted.

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