Why Bob Harper Is Eating a Mediterranean Diet Post Heart Attack

When the seriously fit celebrity trainer Bob Harper suffered a heart attack a few weeks ago, I was just as shocked as most of the world. He works out for a living—the man’s muscles have muscles—not to mention the fact that he’s only 51 years old. But, heart disease runs in his family and genetics are a huge risk factor when it comes to heart health. The good news, Harper is recovering nicely if his Instagram feed is any indication. The avid cross-fitter has taken a less stressful and doctor-recommended approach to exercise. He’s walking his dog in the park and performing a stress test with his medical team rather than hitting the gym hard (yet). The other key part of his recovery? His diet. Harper’s doctors recommended he eat a Mediterranean-style diet. So what’s he eating to keep his heart healthy?

Since my heart attack, my doctors have suggested more of a Mediterranean Diet so tonight’s dinner is branzino with Brussels sprouts and I started with a salad. #heartattacksurvivor

A post shared by Bob Harper (@trainerbob) on

Photo credit: instagram.com/trainerbob

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes healthy whole grains, vegetables, fruits, seafood and healthy fats, plus the occasional glass of heart-healthy red wine. The health benefits of following a Mediterranean-style diet include improved weight loss, better control of blood glucose (sugar) levels and reduced risk of depression. Eating a Mediterranean diet has also been associated with reduced levels of inflammation, a risk factor for heart attack, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. Not to mention, the Mediterranean diet is delicious and flavorful.

Whole grains contain heart-healthy fiber. Fish, like salmon, gives you healthy omega-3 fats. Vegetables and fruits are a good source of fiber and nutrients. And using olive oil increases mono-unsaturated fats in your diet which help raise your “good” HDL cholesterol. Plus, this way of eating is naturally low in added sugars, something most of us get too much of from processed foods and sweets. The American Heart Association recommended no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day for women, and no more than 9 teaspoons daily for men. What else can you do to keep your heart healthy?

Related:7-Day Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan

While we can’t do anything about our genetics, half of the heart disease deaths in the U.S. are preventable according to research from Emory University. The leading risk factors we can control are obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking.

We’re wishing Bob Harper a safe and speedy recovery and are hopeful that his health scare inspires others to eat better, exercise and take care of their hearts.

Related:

Healthy Mediterranean Diet Recipes

8 Easy Ways to Follow the Mediterranean Diet

How to Make Mediterranean Inspired Tuna Salad

TAGS: Lisa Valente, M.S., R.D., Food News Blog, Diet, Food & health news, Nutrition

Read More at EatingWell

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

10 Ways to Burn More Calories During Any Type of Workout
10 Reasons Why You Should Eat More Asparagus
Eating at Night Can Make You Gain Weight, But What If You’re Actually Hungry?
6 Exercises for Perfect Wedding Day Posture
Fearing disease, Kenyans burn animal carcasses as drought deepens
Misty Copeland Explains Why Emotional Strength Is Her Beauty Secret
Who You Should Love After Loss
8 U.S. Solo Travel Destinations You Probably Haven’t Thought Of
Gwyneth Paltrow Wants You to Take Supplements, But Experts Say You Don’t Really Need Them
Using This Simple Kitchen Tool Helped Me Drop 108 Pounds
This Is How Much Protein You Really Need to Eat in a Day
4 Rules for Calling Your Recipe “Simple”
Cancer Is Partly Caused By Bad Luck, Study Finds
Alcohol Is Good for Your Heart—Most of the Time
Crunch week looms for Sanofi, Roche and GSK at U.S. drugs agency
Israel looks to leverage tech in $50 billion medical marijuana market