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5 Ways to Protect Your Arteries From a Fatty Meal

High-fat meals can constrict arteries for hours, reducing blood flow. If you can't give up grill time, this advice from holistic heart doctor Joel K. Kahn, MD, will help make a splurge meal less toxic to your arteries.

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Marinate your meat

Cooking meat at high temperatures creates compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which increase inflammation and the risk of diabetes. To minimize AGE exposure, marinate meat in lemon juice or vinegar, grill it moist at lower temperatures, and pick off charred corners.

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Sip red wine

Chilean researchers found that adding about eight ounces of red wine a day to a high-fat diet reduced the meals’ negative effects on participants’ arteries. Another study showed similar benefits from grape juice.

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Pad patties with healthy grains

In a Yale University study, when people ate bowls of oats or wheat cereal with a high-fat meal, their arteries didn’t constrict as much. These grains may reduce fat absorption into the body. Add oats to hamburger patties, or serve meat on whole wheat buns.

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Add sliced avocado

After people ate hamburgers, UCLA researchers documented a harmful reaction in their arteries within two hours. When the people topped the burgers with a slice of avocado, the harm nearly disappeared. Nutrient-packed produce (even an avocado, with high fat content) seems to neutralize the inflammatory effects of meat.

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Take a quick walk

Thirty minutes or more of brisk walking after a meal can reduce the rise of fat concentration in your blood by 10 to 25 percent.

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Learn More in ‘The Whole Heart Solution’

Joel K. Kahn, MD, is a clinical professor of medicine at Wayne State University and the founder of the Kahn Center for Cardiac Longevity. The Whole Heart Solution (A Reader’s Digest Book) shares Dr. Kahn’s 75 integrative prescriptions for a healthy heart; available at

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Joel K. Kahn, MD
Joel K. Kahn, MD, is a clinical professor of medicine at Wayne State University and the director of cardiac wellness at Michigan Healthcare Professionals. He is the author of The Holistic Heart Book.