California Center of Longevity Medicine
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Los Angeles Longevity & Functional Medicine Doctor

Dr. Allan Kurtz

Board Certified Internal Medicine
Fellowship in Functional Medicine

Heart Attack and Stroke
Prevention Center of Southern California

Health Tips Blog

You Are What You Eat: A Look at Foods that Support Cardiometabolic Heath

By: California Center of Longevity & Functional Medicine on February 8, 2016

A recent study published by Nutrition Journal shows that cardiometabolic health begins in infancy and remains important throughout childhood and adolescence. This means that the foods you consume regularly when you’re younger play a big role in your adult health.
The study shows that consuming too much of certain foods—meat, fast food, soda, and foods high in salt and saturated fat—from the time we are young, can negatively impact your heart health as an adult and put you at a greater risk for hypertension, diabetes, and obesity.
On the other hand, other foods—fruits, vegetables, dairy, omega-3 fatty acids, and foods rich in vitamin D—can positively impact your health as an adult when consumed as a child or adolescent.
Below are some helpful tips on which foods to limit in your diet and which foods you should mindfully include in your diet, so that you can optimize your cardiometabolic health and maintain it for the long term.
Foods to Limit or Avoid:
  • Salt
Many of the snacks that children and adolescents gravitate toward—like chips, crackers, and candies—are not only high in sugar, but also high in salt content, which can put your heart health, cholesterol, and blood pressure at risk as an adult.
  • Meat
While the type and quality of the meat consumed makes a difference in meat-eating’s long-term health effects, studies show that consuming large amounts of red meat as child can increase metabolic risks as an adult.
  • Fast Food and Soda/Sugary Drinks
A variety of studies demonstrate a strong link between fast food and sugary drink consumption when you’re younger and obesity and related health problems as you grow older. Most processed fast foods and soft drinks are loaded with sugar, salt, and saturated fat, which can have long term health consequences.  
Foods that Promote Cardiometabolic Health:
  • Fatty Acids
Foods like nuts, olive oil, and some types of fish contain certain omega-3 fatty acids, which can have a positive health impact. Beware, however, of saturated fats that are linked to higher incidences of obesity and high cholesterol.
  • Dairy
The Nutrition Journal study shows that children who consume plenty of both full-fat and reduced-fat dairy products had a significantly lower chance of being overweight in adulthood.
  • Fruits and Vegetables
Many studies show that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can have a protective effect for children when it comes to non-communicable disease. Because fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and fiber, they also make for great snacks for children and adolescents, since they reduce the potential for a high BMI index in adulthood.
  • Vitamin D
Children who received adequate amounts of vitamin D went on to have better glucose levels, lower blood pressure, and lower risk of metabolic syndrome.
No matter your how busy the end of the year may be, a concerted effort to make cardiometabolic health a priority is a keystone to optimal health. Being mindful and intentional about the types of food you and your family choose to consume can have positive effects, if you choose snacks and meals that support your long-term health and nutrition.
An overarching, integrated, and medically advised approach to healthy living can help you achieve and maintain your best health for years to come. At the California Center of Longevity & Functional Medicine, our board certified physicians work personally with patients to develop healthy habits, so that the chances of developing health problems such as dementia, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and other chronic conditions can be minimized.
Dr. Allan Kurtz specializes in creating comprehensive health and longevity plans for patients of all ages. Fellowship trained in Integrative and Functional Medicine, Dr. Kurtz is also a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and The Institute for Functional Medicine. Founded in Woodland Hills, CA, the California Center of Longevity & Functional Medicine was created to help patients throughout the greater Los Angeles area in restoring and maintaining ideal health for a lifetime. To schedule a consultation at The California Center of Longevity and Functional Medicine, contact us today online or call  818.346.1440.