extreme closeup of a slice of kiwi fruit

Nutrition


You aren’t only what you eat; you are also how your body responds to your food. Genetic and environmental factors play a profound role in the body’s ability to process foods and medication. Your past — diseases you’ve survived, environmental conditions you’ve endured — can create life-long effects that determine how your body responds.

For these reasons, we don’t take an overly simplistic, cause-and-effect approach to preventive cardiology.

  • First, we seek to understand the unique needs and dysfunctional systems within each patient using a multi-pronged approach to testing.
  • Second, we prepare both short- and long-term plans, crafted with a view to implementation.
  • Third, we develop long-term relationships that allow us to monitor how well each plan is working and alter them as needed.
  • At the Texas Center for Preventive Cardiology, we don’t just write a prescription and move on to the next patient. We use every available tool — nutrition, physical activity, medication, supplementation and mental health — to integrate the practice of medicine and the practice of life.

Nutrition Must Nourish

Tens of thousands of diet plans have been created and advertised. Every conceivable assembly of fats, carbohydrates and proteins has been promoted or described in fear-inducing terms. Individual foods have been exalted as “the next miracle” — a cure for everything that ails us. Food groups have increased and decreased in popularity as quickly as fashion designers and pop stars.

Yet all of these diets lack the single most critical component: the one thing that determines the success or failure of any nutritional plan — you.

Your body is unique. Some people eat a lot of fat yet develop little atherosclerosis. Others can eat nothing but produce and still have high cholesterol levels. We all have different metabolisms, and they change with age and activity level. Food allergies can manifest in infancy or in adulthood, and some of us are unable to process specific sugars or proteins. It is simply not possible for any diet or program to recognize your unique challenges.

The "You" Diet

At the Texas Center for Preventive Cardiology, we create a unique plan for each patient. We measure a wide range of markers, including metabolic, lipid and inflammation indicators, to determine the cause of heart disease. We look at genetic markers that can tell us how your body processes the food you eat. And we spend time with you, exploring what you eat and when, what your challenges are and how you feel about food.

We don’t take any pre-defined program — even those that have been well-researched — and automatically recommend it to everyone who walks in the door. Once we learn how your body interacts with the food you eat, we work with you to make changes, often one at a time, carefully monitoring how those changes affect your health.

Based on our findings, we may make simple suggestions, such as adding more olive oil or walnuts to your diet. Or we may recommend an elimination process, in which we monitor your food intake for a period of time, removing and then reintroducing foods or food categories to determine if certain underlying conditions are damaging your health. If needed, we may recommend a qualified nutritionist — someone who can facilitate a long-range plan that helps you achieve your goals for a better, longer life.

The Whole Health Nutrition Package

No pill eliminates heart disease. No procedure can restore your cardiovascular system to health. Reducing the risk of heart disease requires a comprehensive approach: diet, exercise, reducing stress, getting good sleep, taking the right medications and supplements, eliminating smoking and reducing alcohol consumption. 

Diet is a critical part of this process. We’ve developed the Whole Health Nutrition Package to provide the tools you need to improve your dietary habits and begin the process of reversing heart disease. 

This package includes four visits: two initial and two follow-up appointments with Dr. Arashvand and our in-house nutritionist, Eleni Ottalagana. During the initial visit, patients have an EKG and an EndoPAT test. These measurements indicate the extent of any heart disease and help us to determine the best course for your treatment. 

We’ll also have a good conversation about what you eat and when; about how you cook and your eating habits. We’ll talk about what foods you loathe and what foods you crave. We’re not here to force anyone to eat kale or to shame you into eating broccoli — we want your new dietary habits to stick, and that won’t happen if you hate every meal. 

After the initial visit, we’ll assemble a comprehensive nutrition plan that will coach you into new habits. Your plan may recommend supplements and specific food groups. It may address issues with digestion or autoimmune function. But whatever the recommendations, they will be aligned with your goals, your needs, your preferences and your health.

After you’ve had a chance to work through the plan, you’ll come back to the office for an assessment. We’ll check several markers to determine how well the plan is working. We’ll talk about how easy — or how difficult — it’s been to adhere to the recommendations. And, if necessary, we’ll make adjustments, refining your goals and setting new paths for achieving them. 

Good healthcare doesn’t stop at the prescription pad — it includes every aspect of your life. If you’re interested in learning more about the Whole Health Nutrition Package, we encourage you to contact us with questions or to schedule your appointment.

Resources


One way to pinpoint dietary problems is through an elimination diet. If we recommend that path, we'll use the forms below to help guide you through the process.

Elimination-Diet-Food-Plan

Elimination-Diet-Guide

Elimination-Diet-Food-Reintroduction-Tracker

The Nutrition and Lifestyle Journals (both 3-day and 7-day versions are available) can help you monitor and track your food intake and remind you to increase food variety.

3-day-Diet-Nutrition-and-Lifestyle-Journal

7-day-Diet-Nutrition-and-Lifestyle-Journal

Sometimes it can be difficult to ensure that we get enough of the right nutrients. These PDFs list foods high in some of the most essential nutrients.

Dietary-Sources-Zinc

Dietary-Sources-Essential-Fatty-Acids