Wellness Wisdom: What Is the Best Heart-Healthy Diet Plan?

Season 1, Episode 21

Dr. Stephen Sinatra

Dr. Stephen Sinatra


In this week’s Be HEALTHistic Extra, Dr. Steve Sinatra discusses the benefits of his favorite heart-healthy diet — the Pan-Asian Modified Mediterranean (P.A.M.M) diet. From the macronutrients and foods that are best and how much of each you should eat, to the foods you should avoid, Dr. Steve shares what you need to know about this delicious and satisfying meal plan. You won’t want to miss this special Wellness Wisdom, with essential nutrition information for your heart and overall health.



Dr. Steve Sinatra: In today's Wellness Wisdom, I wanted to focus on my favorite heart-healthy diet — the Mediterranean diet. And in particular, I'm very fond of the Pan-Asian Modified Mediterranean diet, which is a combination of the diet eaten by the people on the Greek island of Crete, and a diet common among the people living on the Asian side of the Pacific Rim.

I've been recommending the P.A.M.M. diet since the mid 1990s, when the results of the Lyon heart diet study were published. This diet includes essential fatty acids, or EFAs. EFAs are critical for heart health, and a study of EFAs published in 1995 supports this theory. People who ate one meal of fatty fish per week — such as salmon, anchovy, and mackerel — experienced a 50% reduction in sudden cardiac death…amazing.

In this context, the advantage of the Mediterranean heart-healthy diet plan is clear. It, along with the diet favored along the Pacific Rim, are both rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Even more important, both diets include two beneficial EFAs — docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, and eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA.

So what foods are best? Overall, you want to eat 40 to 45% slow burning, low-glycemic index carbohydrates, 30 to 35% healthy fats, and 20 to 25% protein. I also urge you to eat organic as much as possible. So how does that translate? Well, aim for two to three servings of vegetables daily — and lots of fruit. Fruits contain water and fiber to fill you up on relatively few calories, and they also contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Also, you want to eat high quality fats, which can help lower your risk of developing heart disease. One of my favorite sources of heart-healthy fat is olive oil, which I often call the “secret sauce” of the Mediterranean diet. Whole grains, legumes, nuts, fermented soy and seeds are also an important part of the P.A.M.M. diet, providing complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. Fish and omega-3 fortified eggs are key foods, as well. Both are rich in protein and EFAs, which are vital to decreasing your risk of heart disease. Finally, meats, poultry and dairy can also be enjoyed in moderation, but you want to be careful not to overindulge.

Conversely, what should you avoid on the P.A.M.M. diet? When eating for heart health, you want to avoid foods that contain sugar, refined white flour, partially hydrogenated oils, processed fruit juices, and omega-3 oils such as corn, safflower, soy and canola. Plus, you want to limit starchy vegetables, such as corn, peas and carrots.

I have tons of delicious, heart-healthy recipes in my eBook, called the Ultimate Healing Cookbook. If you go to the episode page for this show, I'm going to provide a link so you can access the eBook and see all my favorite recipes — including appetizers and snacks, salads, soups, entrees, and even desserts. From vegetable soup, to turkey meatloaf, to broiled salmon, to my awesome apple crisp — I promise you, you can have it all with this diet. Delicious food and heart health benefits.

Narrator: Thank you for joining us for today's special Be HEALTHistic. Join us next week for more Wellness Wisdom from the Doctors Sinatra.


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Dr. Stephen Sinatra

Meet Dr. Stephen Sinatra

A true pioneer, Dr. Sinatra spent more than 40 years in clinical practice, including serving as an attending physician and chief of cardiology at Manchester Memorial Hospital, then going on to formulate his advanced line of heart health supplements. His integrative approach to heart health has changed the lives of hundreds of thousands.

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