Eating for Cardiac Health

Given the stunning rise in cardiometabolic syndrome in the US,1,2 sustainable lifestyle interventions that can prevent and reverse this condition are vital. IFM’s Cardiometabolic Food Plan contains the resources and information for clinicians to work with patients to change their eating patterns to support cardiac health.

Elizabeth Boham, MD, MS, RD, is board certified in family medicine, with a strong background in nutrition. She graduated with a BS in nutritional biochemistry from Cornell University and an MS in nutrition education and exercise physiology from Columbia University, and she is a registered dietician.

This food plan is designed for patients at risk of or diagnosed with cardiovascular disease and metabolic conditions. Cardiac conditions and metabolic dysfunction share predisposing factors and mediators, including inflammation,2 insulin resistance,3 and the role of stress.4 The Cardiometabolic Food Plan has the following features:

  • A modified Mediterranean diet, including the heart-healthy elements5
  • A low glycemic impact
  • Personalized, targeted calorie recommendations
  • Blood sugar balancing
  • High fiber, low simple sugars
  • Balanced, quality fats
  • Condition-specific phytonutrients

The Cardiometabolic Food Plan tools include a Comprehensive Guide, which provides the rationale and overview for the plan as well as clear guidance on therapeutic foods, customization for specific conditions, and answers to frequently asked questions. A weekly food planner paired with a food list for easy shopping enables patients to take charge of their own health. A robust bibliography provides the research background for how and why this food plan has such an effect on health outcomes.

This food plan, along with several others, are all available as part of IFM’s Toolkit. The toolkit contains a wide range of patient education materials and resources for clinical care.

To gain access to these tools, either become a member with IFM or attend AFMCP.

Learn more about membership


  1. Aguilar M, Bhuket T, Torres S, Liu B, Wong RJ. Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in the United States, 2003-2012. JAMA. 2015;313(19):1973-1974. doi:1001/jama.2015.4260.
  2. Moore JX, Chaudhary N, Akinyemiju T. Metabolic syndrome prevalence by race/ethnicity and sex in the United States, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-2012. Prev Chronic Dis. 2017;14:E24. doi:5888/pcd14.160287.
  3. Mazidi M, Shivappa N, Wirth MD, et al. Dietary inflammatory index and cardiometabolic risk in US adults. Atherosclerosis. 2018;276:23-27. doi:1016/j.atherosclerosis.2018.02.020.
  4. Salt IP. Examining the role of insulin in the regulation of cardiovascular health. Future Cardiol. 2013;9(1):39-52. doi:2217/fca.12.77.
  5. Tamashiro KL, Sakai RR, Shively CA, Karatsoreos IN, Reagan LP. Chronic stress, metabolism, and metabolic syndrome. 2011;14(5):468-474. doi:10.3109/10253890.2011.606341.
  6. Pérez-Martínez P, Mikhailidis DP, Athyros VG, et al. Lifestyle recommendations for the prevention and management of metabolic syndrome: an international panel recommendation. Nutr Rev. 2017;75(5):307-326. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nux014.

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