HARLINGEN, RGV – Dr. Eduardo Flores, a cardiologist with South Heart Clinic in Harlingen, says the Rio Grande Valley region’s diet is “terrible.”

Flores made his comments during an “after hours mixer” hosted by the clinic and Harlingen Area Chamber of Commerce. At the mixer, South Heart Clinic welcomed a new physician, Dr. Michael Balderas.

Dr. Eduardo Flores

Flores became animated when asked by a reporter about heart health and diet in the Valley.

“The Rio Grande Valley diet is terrible and negatively impactful on cardiac health,” Flores said. “We eat a diet that is rich in cheese, saturated fat from chorizo, tamales, sausage, bacon, brisket, barbecues and other unhealthy sauces of saturated fat. This diet promotes the development of coronary artery disease and diabetes both.”

Flores said that just like diabetes, obesity is “also an epidemic” in the Valley.

“Both of these conditions promote the development of coronary artery disease. What we need to do in the Valley is begin educating our communities about heart-healthy diet and lifestyle changes: a Mediterranean diet, rich in health, beneficial dietary sauces such as whole grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables and lean sources of protein such as salmon, chicken, turkey and lean meat.”

Dr. Michael Balderas

Flores reiterated that cardiologists want their Valley patients to “eat a Mediterranean-type diet, exercise daily and maintain a healthy body weight.”

He added: “If you are a diabetic you should consider beginning aspirin and statin therapy if you are a diabetic patient in the Valley. Seek healthcare from your primary care provider and seek specialty healthcare if you develop chest pains symptoms.”