My friend Jackie Wicks has a NEW book available on how to make weight loss easy. The system she’s come up with is called The Cheat System Diet, and as the name implies, cheating is a big part of it! The great thing is, that you won’t just cheat your way to losing weight—The Cheat System Diet will also help protect your heart!
We all know that an ideal weight is beneficial for heart health, and in this regard we might expect any diet to be cardio protective. However, there are diets out there like the Atkins diet which can actively cause harm to the heart, even if you do lose weight. The Cheat System Diet isn’t one of these heart-harmful diets, let me show you why.
A big emphasis in The Cheat System Diet is choosing healthy fats. If you’ve read my book The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up, then you know that not all fats are created equal. Even when looking at broad categories of fats, like saturated fat, there are good types like stearic acid, found in dark chocolate, and to some degree in grass-fed beef, and less-healthy types like palmitic acid, found in large amounts in conventional beef that have been fattened on corn and may be high in hormones and pesticides.
The Cheat System Diet encourages consumption of the healthiest fats from the healthiest sources while encouraging the reader to avoid the unhealthy fats. Wild and grass-fed meats are encouraged, along with nuts, olive oil, and polyunsaturated fat-rich seafood. Another big plus for the heart The Cheat System Diet encourages is an eating plan high in fiber intake. Fiber-rich foods don’t only make you feel full, they can help improve your cholesterol profile, blood sugar level, and blood pressure too. Beans are a great source of dietary fiber and other nutrients.
A high-fiber diet is another way that The Cheat System Diet beats out many other diets. Some diets, despite weight loss, discourage consumption of heart-healthy fiber while encouraging consumption of high-fat, low-fiber foods like conventionally-raised meat. What’s the point of weight loss without gaining health!
Vegetables, one of the focuses of The Cheat System Diet, are also highly beneficial for the heart. They are rich in phytochemicals and anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients, all of which help prevent and repair damage, and keep the heart functioning in tip-top shape.
Vegetables are also one of the best sources of potassium, a key nutrient for balancing out the hypertensive effects of sodium. In fact, potassium intake may be even more important than sodium intake! At any rate, The Cheat System Diet both encourages a high consumption of potassium as well as a low intake of sodium, so you get protection in both ways!
Finally, you’ve got to consider the little ways you can benefit your heart, because sometimes it’s the small, easy steps that can make the biggest difference. For example, instead of using fats and sugars to flavor food, The Cheat System Diet encourages the use of herbs and spices. Herbs and spices are rich in the same cardio protective properties that vegetables have, and they also reduce the amount of sugar-rich condiments you use to turn bland food into tasty food!
If you’re trying to lose weight, The Cheat System Diet may be just right for you. So many diets focus on weight loss to the exclusion of health, including heart health. Let me tell you this: weight loss is important, but it also matters how you do it!
I wish you the best of health!
Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP