A Smart Heart Patient's Plan

At a young age, David Held found himself on Dr. Oz's operating table. After undergoing surgery to correct 5 blocked arteries, David has made a vow to himself and to his family: to adopt healthier eating habits and a healthier lifestyle. Find out how this self-proclaimed foodie is revolutionizing his health.

A Smart Heart Patient's Plan

Change Your Salt Consumption

Start using a coarse salt grinder. If you're used to tossing a handful into water that's boiling for pasta or generously shaking it over a completed meal, this simple switch will easily cut your salt consumption. By giving the grinder a quarter of a turn, you can still add salt to your food without an alarming amount of sodium. Increase flavor further with the use of spices: pepper, onion powder, garlic, Italian herbs. Cayenne pepper and ginger can even give your metabolism a boost, helping you burn calories faster!

Create David's baked unstuffed Tilapia at home and see how sacrificing salt does not equal sacrificing taste.

For more tips on lowering your salt intake, visit Dr. Oz's Salt Detox Challenge.

Lose the Yolk, Not the Taste

Salt isn't the only health-sabotaging ingredient in your meals. By cutting saturated fats and high cholesterol foods from your diet, you're guaranteed to increase your heart health. Saturated fats are most commonly found in animal products like meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy products, lard and butter. They can also be found in oils like coconut and palm. You don't have to cut meat entirely, but choose lean portions of white meat like chicken and turkey over red meat. Additionally, use egg whites over the yolks.

Lowering your cholesterol intake is dietary responsibility for all those diagnosed with diabetes, high cholesterol and those predisposed to heart disease. Adding sources of soluble fiber, like oatmeal, kidney beans, apples, pears, psyllium, barley and prunes, and a handful of nuts per day, like almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachio nuts and walnuts can also lower your LDL, or bad cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids and olive oil are also healthy dietary staples.

See how David put this rule into practice by adapting his matzo ball soup recipe to include spelt, egg substitute, skinless chicken and low-sodium chicken broth.

Get more tips for heart health in Dr. Oz's Healthy Heart Challenge.

Ditch the Beef

As stated earlier, red meat is high in saturated fats. Additionally, a diet high in red meat can raise your risk for certain cancers. Not only are most Americans consuming red meat several times a week, most are overindulging when it comes to serving size. A serving of protein should be no more than 3 ounces (85 grams). This translates to about the size of a deck of cards or roughly 1/4 the size of your dinner plate.

Dietary substitutions can easily be made without sacrificing taste. David substituted lean ground turkey for red meat in order to keep chili, meatloaf and burgers on the menu. Get his recipes here. If you want to take your dietary detox even further, take Dr. Oz's 28-Day Vegan Challenge.

Read more about David Held's journey on his blog and see all of his recipes here.

Nuts May Be Your Best Snack to Help Maintain Weight Loss — Here's Why

It could also help lower your heart rate and bad cholesterol.

Is trying to lose weight — and keep it off — driving you nuts? Well, maybe it should drive you to nuts. New findings published in the journal Nutrients highlight the power nuts may have on successful weight loss.

Nuts vs. Pretzels

UCLA researchers put 95 overweight or obese folks ages 30–68 on a diet that provided 500 calories less than needed to maintain their resting metabolic rate for 12 weeks, then maintenance for another 12. The diet included 1.5 ounces of mixed nuts for half the group and pretzels for the others (both "snacks" delivered the same amount of calories).

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