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Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S. It is projected that, by 2030, almost 40 percent of Americans will suffer from some form of active heart disease. However, it is not all bad news.  Even as deadly as it sounds, it is not too late to turn things around.

Heart disease surprisingly starts developing just a couple years after birth. It takes several decades for the build-up and hardening of the arteries to become life threatening and receive a heart disease diagnosis.

The shocking truth is 80% of heart disease is preventable with lifestyle.  And the eating part of lifestyle is different than most still believe.  Science got it wrong until recently and we need to shift a lot of our thinking to what the better designed studies and more sophisticated understanding of our body’s biochemistry is telling us.

The process for heart disease is complex. This is why this power packed eating plan includes foods that not only help lower your LDL cholesterol but do other heart healthy-changing things. First, LDL is not always “bad.”  It just gets that name because education messages simplify what is going on and want the public to know to get their LDL number down.

LDL is a particle in your body that carries cholesterol to your body’s cells.  Every cell needs cholesterol.  This is all good.  This changes though when there are too many LDL particles hanging out in your bloodstream. Think of your arteries like a crowded hallway at a middle school just after the bell rings.  Kids are everywhere running into one another, trying to get past people talking and it is chaos.  Some students are going fast, others are taking their time.  When this happens there is a higher chance of some of the LDL particles running into the sides of your arteries, or getting hung up in a tight bend.  This is when the not so good things happen and can be the start of plaque buildup.

You want four things to happen in your body for preventing heart disease: first keep your LDL number down; second keep the particles in your bloodstream moving so they are on their mission; third have larger sized LDL particles so they can’t fit easily into tight places and stay behind (in a sense); and lastly you want the particles to have a slippery texture instead of the more dangerous sticky texture that can grasp and hold on to the arterial walls where trouble tends to brew.

This is simplified quite a bit, but my point is to stop and reverse heart disease you need to think beyond just numbers.  Heart disease fighting foods can lower your cholesterol and put your body back into its balance.


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This heart disease power packed eating fighting plan will lower your LDL cholesterol, increase your LDL particle size, create LDL particles with a smooth and slippery surface, decrease your triglyceride number and increase your HDL (good) cholesterol number.

Dive in and commit to following the basic plan three days every week. Plan your power packed eating days for those days in your week that you have a regular schedule. This way you can bring food with you that you prepared or take time at home to make your meals.

The other 4 days in your week, enjoy your leftovers and be good to yourself.  These 4 days are meant to be days that if you need to, grab something on the go between choir, soccer and band practices; go to dinner with friends; catch a meal in the hotel if on travel; or whip up your famous crock pot potato soup at home and leave behind any guilt.

Following this plan for three days a week WILL build up your body’s defenses in a big way to stop and fight cancer.  I know you don’t have the time to commit to this plan every day even if you wanted to.  Things come up: kids or grandkids schedule’s change;  travel for work means being on the road for a couple days a week, or you have big project at work that you need to push a couple days for.  And I want you to enjoy life and not add stress to it.

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There are THREE different subgroups of food to choose from. Select TWO servings from each subgroup to eat for three days a week.


These are foods that you want to eat at least three days a week.


There are a few foods listed to avoid.  These are foods we know you’re your body’s defenses weaker for heart disease.


Incorporate the foods you select into the dishes, meals and snacks you eat throughout your entire day while also following the HIGH ENERGY PLAN.  Make sure to follow the food prep guidelines too.  These are important so that you get the most fighting power out of your foods.  Read more on the high energy plan.

There are three ways to integrate the power-packed foods on this plan:

  1. Use recipes that include the foods you selected from the plan on this site.  Check the recipes section for lots of ideas
  2. Modify your own recipes to include these foods you selected from the plan
  3. Utilize a home box meal delivery service that includes the foods you select
Food Plan Download

Heart Disease Fighting Full Plan

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries (organic)
  • Rhubarb
  • Acai berries (1 tablespoon powder or
  • Black raspberries
  • Cabbage
  • Arugula
  • Black and brown mustard greens
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli rabe
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Collard greens
  • Kale
  • Parsnips
  • Radishes
  • Kohrabi
  • Rutabaga
  • Turnips
  • Dandelion greens
  • Watercress
  • Chard (also known as Swiss chard)
  • Pomegranates
  • Apples (organic)
  • Avocado
  • Leeks
  • Chives
  • Scallions (also known as green onions)
  • Flaxseed (1 tablespoon ground)
  • Cilantro
  • Beets
  • Basil (1 teaspoon)


  • Olives (black or green)
  • Soybeans (soybeans ½ cup, edamame 1 cup, soy milk 1 cup, tofu 4 oz)
  • Plant sterol (2 grams of phytosterols found in special marked margarines)
  • Walnuts (1/4 cup)
  • Brazil nuts (4 nuts)
  • Almonds (15)
  • Brown rice
  • Barley
  • Lentils, chickpeas, split peas
  • Quinoa
  • Millet

Eat daily:

  • 1/2 tablespoon or more extra virgin olive oil non-heated or low heat
  • 3 oz serving cold water fish (salmon, Atlantic mackerel, Artic char, sardines) or two omega-3 rich eggs
  • Chocolate (1 oz dark or 1 tablespoon cocao powder)
  • Oats (1/2 cup traditional uncooked; 1/3 cup steel cut oats)
  • 1 clove raw garlic


  • Processed baked items and fried foods (pastries, cookies, fries, fried foods, crackers, white bread, white pasta, chips)
  • Full servings of high carb foods with little to no fiber (bagels, corn, pasta, bread,
  • Sugary drinks (regular pop and juice and energy drinks)
  • Fatty meat cuts
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This heart disease fighting power packed eating plan is for informational purposes and it is not meant to be a substitute for the medical advice provided by your own physician. The information on this plan and website is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the expertise and experience of Teresa Pangan, PhD, RDN. Dr. Teresa Pangan encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.  Read full disclaimer.

Unfortunately I can’t guarantee that doing these things will 100% reverse or stop heart disease.  What I can guarantee is if you incorporate these foods  (under a physician’s supervision if you have a health condition) into what you eat, your body will thank you and will have much stronger defense systems to fight and reverse heart disease with.

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