Diets for Heart Health
Cardiovascular diseases are an important cause of death worldwide.
Along with lifestyle factors like regular exercise and not smoking, diet is one of the best ways to protect your heart. What you eat affects inflammation, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
In particular, diets rich in fibre, healthy fats, and antioxidants have been shown to help support heart health, while high intakes of added sugar and processed meats have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
Diet for Heart Health: Although many diets claim to support heart health, it’s important to choose one backed by science and easy to maintain long-term.
Here are the 6 Top Diets for Heart Health.
1. Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean Sea diet is based on the traditional intake habits of people who lived in Greece and southern Italy in the 1960s.
The diet emphasizes whole foods with minimal processing, including whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, pulses, fish, and extra virgin olive oil. It includes practical poultry, eggs, low-fat dairy products, and red wine.
Also, limit or eliminate added sugars, refined carbohydrates, highly processed snack foods, and red and processed meats.
Systematic studies have linked the Mediterranean diet to a reduced risk of heart disease and risk factors such as high cholesterol and triglycerides, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
A review of 11 studies found that following a Mediterranean diet reduced the overall risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality by 40%.
Most of the heart health benefits of this diet are believed to be due to the emphasis on minimally processed, whole herbal foods and well fats.
For example, extra virgin emerald oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and mixes with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
A review of 32 studies linked higher consumption of this oil, but not other monounsaturated fats, with a significantly reduced risk of all-cause mortality, heart disease, and stroke.
Other factors, such as exercise and eating less added sugars, may also contribute to the positive effects of the diet.
2. DASH Diet
DASH stands for Dietary Methods to Stop Hypertension and was developed to prevent and treat Hypertension or high blood pressure. It, in turn, reduces the risk of heart disease.
Like the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet does not require a strict list of foods.
Instead, it recommends a specific number of food groups based on your calorie needs, focusing on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean dairy, and lean meats while limiting red meat, refined grains, and added sugars.
Additionally, it is recommended that you limit your sodium intake to 1 teaspoon (2,300 mg) per day, with the low-salt version recommending no more than 3/4 teaspoon (1,500 mg) per day.
Reducing sodium intake has significantly lower blood pressure for people with high blood pressure, especially when combined with the DASH diet.
However, studies show that this effect is less prominent in people with normal blood pressure.
3. Vegan and Vegetarian Diets
Vegan and vegetarian diets are eating habits that exclude all meat, including poultry, red meat, and fish.
While some vegetarians include other animal products such as eggs and dairy. Vegans strictly avoid all animal ingredients, including dairy, eggs, pollen, honey bees, honey, and gelatin.
Instead, these diets emphasize fruits, vegetables, legumes, lentils, soy products, whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and fats.
This high proportion of plant foods provides vegan and vegetarian diets with several health benefits. For example, these diets are often rich in fibre, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds that promote heart health.
4. Flexitarian Diet
The Flexitarian Diet, created by registered dietitian Don Jackson Blatner, is an eating plan that focuses on plant-based foods but allows moderate amounts of meat, fish, dairy, and other animal products. It encourages you to get the most protein from plant foods.
There is no set rule on how much and how often to consume animal products, so it all comes down to your preference.
We recommend that you eat mostly whole foods with minimal processing and limit or avoid added sugar, refined grains, processed meats, and other highly processed foods.
Although the allowed variations of this diet make it difficult to study, observational studies have linked greater adherence to a plant-based diet to a lower risk of heart disease.
In addition, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, which the diet encourages, have reduced risk factors for heart disease.
5. TLC Diet
The Curing Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet was developed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
It includes dietary and lifestyle recommendations to maintain optimal cholesterol levels and a healthy weight, such as at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise daily.
- Desire to get 25-35% of daily calories from fat
- limit saturated fat to no more than 7% of your daily calories
- restriction of dietary cholesterol to no more than 200 mg per day
- eat 10 to 25 grams of soluble fibre per day
- consume at least 2 grams of plant sterols or stanols per day
- Eat exactly the number of calories per day needed to maintain a healthy weight.
Although research limit, several studies show that the diet lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol. An earlier 32-day study in 36 adults found that the TLC diet reduced this marker by 11%.
The diet believes to work by increasing your intake of soluble fibre. Which find in oat bran, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, and some fruits and vegetables.
6. Low-Carb Diets
Low-carb diets limit carbohydrate intake and tend to be higher in protein and fat than the typical Western diet. They tend to limit their intake of loaves of bread, cereals, pasta, potatoes, and sugary snacks and drinks.
Carbohydrates may limit to 10-40% of calories per day, depending on the specific diet.
Research shows that low-carb diets can improve heart health by reducing certain risk factors for heart disease, including overweight, obesity, high triglyceride levels, and high blood pressure. While increasing disease heart HDL (good cholesterol).
While one test revealed an increase in LDL (bad) cholesterol. It also showed a greater increase in HDL (good) cholesterol, suggesting that low-carb diets may help maintain favourable LDL/HDL.
Although these results are promising, longer-term studies need.
Also, not all low-carb diets are inherently heart-healthy. Some observational studies have noted an increased risk of heart disease and associated death in these diets.
However, a study looking at diet quality linked low-carbohydrate diets high in protein and vegetable fats to a reduced risk of death from heart disease and all causes. While diets high in protein and animal fats were associated with increased risk.
Therefore, the quality of the power supply is a key factor. In particular, low-carb diets should contain enough fibre from plant-based foods like vegetables and emphasize healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, minimally processed vegetable oils, and omega-3-rich fish.
Also Read: Fish Oil Supplement