Eating These 6 Foods May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

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Eating These 6 Foods May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
Eating These 6 Foods May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

Heart disease is the top cause of mortality in the United States, thus it is a major worry for many individuals. With that in mind, it’s normal to want to do all possible to reduce your chance of getting heart disease, including eating the correct foods. A new study has identified six meals that may reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your heart health.

The study, published in the European Heart Journal, looked at the meals people ate and their risk of heart disease among 245,000 adults who took part in the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study. The researchers discovered that persons who consumed more fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, seafood, and whole-fat dairy had a decreased risk of heart disease and mortality than those who did not.

During a median follow-up of 9.3 years, there were 15,707 deaths and 40,764 cardiovascular events among study participants. People who followed the healthiest diet had a 30% reduced risk of mortality, an 18% lower chance of cardiovascular disease, a 14% lower risk of myocardial infarction, and a 19% lower risk of stroke when compared to those who followed the least healthy diet.

The researchers also determined how many servings per day were most beneficial for individuals, providing some impressive insights. Here’s what the study discovered, as well as why certain meals are so beneficial.

What did the research discover?
The study discovered that the following meals are beneficial for heart health in the start:

  1. Fatty Fish: Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and trout are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation and lower triglyceride levels, both of which are beneficial for heart health.
  2. Berries: Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber, which may contribute to reducing the risk of heart disease by improving blood pressure and reducing inflammation.
  3. Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and other nuts are excellent sources of unsaturated fats, fiber, and various heart-healthy nutrients. Including them in your diet may help lower LDL cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease.
  4. Oats: Oats and oatmeal contain a type of soluble fiber called beta-glucans, which can help reduce LDL cholesterol levels, making them a heart-healthy breakfast option.
  5. Leafy Greens: Vegetables like spinach, kale, and collard greens are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can support heart health by reducing inflammation and improving blood pressure.
  6. Legumes: Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are excellent sources of plant-based protein and fiber. They can help lower cholesterol levels and stabilize blood sugar, which are factors that contribute to heart disease risk.

However, the researchers discovered that a specific eating pattern and amount of servings were optimal.

Here’s a breakdown:

  • Fruit: two to three servings per day
  • vegetables: two to three servings per day whole-fat dairy: two servings per day
  • Nuts: Seven servings of nuts per week
  • legumes: three to four servings per week
  • Fish: two to three servings per week

Why may these foods be beneficial to heart health?

The foods suggested are mostly in accordance with what the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends for a healthy eating pattern. These are some examples:

  • A diverse range of fruits and veggies
  • entire grains and goods mostly composed of whole grains
  • Protein-rich foods include beans, nuts, fish, shellfish, and low-fat or nonfat dairy milk. vegetable oils that are not tropical
  • foods that have been lightly processed
  • reduced consumption of additional sugars
  • dishes made with little or no salt and little or no alcohol

Healthy fats play a crucial role in supporting heart health. Including these fats in your diet can help improve cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, and decrease the risk of heart disease. Here are some examples of healthy fats:

  1. Monounsaturated Fats: These fats are found in foods such as:
  • Olive oil
  • Avocados
  • Nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews)
  • Seeds (flaxseeds, chia seeds)

Polyunsaturated Fats: There are two types of polyunsaturated fats, both of which are beneficial for heart health:

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Found in fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. Omega-3s can help reduce inflammation and lower triglyceride levels.
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acids: Found in vegetable oils (soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil) and certain nuts and seeds. While omega-6 fats are essential, it’s important to maintain a balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in the diet.
  1. Avocados: Rich in monounsaturated fats, avocados can help improve LDL cholesterol levels and are a great addition to a heart-healthy diet.
  2. Nuts and Seeds: As mentioned earlier, nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds are excellent sources of heart-healthy fats.
  3. Fatty Fish: Fatty fish are not only high in omega-3 fatty acids but also provide lean protein, making them a heart-healthy food choice.
  4. Plant-Based Oils: Besides olive oil, other plant-based oils like canola oil and peanut oil can be good sources of monounsaturated fats.

It’s essential to remember that while healthy fats are beneficial, they are also calorie-dense, so portion control is crucial, especially if you’re trying to manage your weight. Additionally, for overall heart health, it’s essential to combine a balanced diet with regular physical activity and other heart-healthy lifestyle choices. As always, it’s a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to tailor a diet plan that meets your specific health needs.

Read More: 5 Benefits of Consuming Garlic in the Morning | Smoking Injurious to Health – Facts, Myth and Risk


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