Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Aside from lifestyle factors such as regular exercise and not smoking, diet is one of the best ways to protect your heart. Because your diet directly affects inflammation, blood pressure, cholesterol, and other risk factors for heart disease.
In the article we will tell:
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Aside from lifestyle factors such as regular exercise and not smoking, diet is one of the best ways to protect your heart. Because your diet directly affects inflammation, blood pressure, cholesterol, and other risk factors for heart disease.
In particular, a diet high in fiber, healthy fats, and antioxidants has been shown to help support heart health. Whereas high consumption of added sugar and processed meats is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
While many diets claim to support heart health, it's important to choose one that's backed by science and is effective and easy to follow in the long run.
While more research is needed on the role of individual nutrients, research shows that diets rich in whole foods, especially plant-based foods, benefit heart health.
Therefore, a healthy diet allows for a variety of whole foods that are low in added sugars and processed fats. Current research suggests that what matters most is the type of fat, not the amount.
For example, mono- and polyunsaturated fats can promote heart health, while trans fats increase LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and exacerbate inflammation.
It is recommended to limit saturated fat intake to no more than 6-10% of daily calories.
Because heart disease prevention involves several lifestyle factors, it can be helpful to choose a plan that promotes healthy weight maintenance and regular physical activity.
Finally, before embarking on any diet, check with your doctor to make sure it's the right option for your needs.
A heart-healthy diet consists of:
fruits and vegetables;
nuts, beans and legumes;
vegetable oils such as olive oil;
low-fat dairy products;
eggs (you can eat up to six a week).
All are low in saturated fat and empty calories. Make sure your plate is half full and contains a variety of vegetables at every meal.
Canned and frozen vegetables and fruits can be used instead of fresh ones, as long as they do not contain salt and sugar.
Fish is one of the best foods for your heart, but you need to choose the right ones. Oily fish is considered the best because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower cholesterol levels and promote vascular health.
Try to eat at least 2 servings of fish per week. Examples include:
As for drinks, it's best to use water. If you don't like the taste of plain water, experiment by chopping a lemon, cucumber, or berry and adding them to the water to give it a natural flavor.
As a general rule, excess sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats should be avoided. This is especially true after a heart attack.
The following is a partial list of foods that should be limited or avoided:
canned food (with the exception of vegetables and beans, if they do not contain salt);
processed frozen meals;
cookies and cakes;
sauces such as mayonnaise, ketchup;
red meat (use only in limited quantities);
hydrogenated vegetable oils (these contain trans fats);
pizza, hamburgers and hot dogs.
For a healthy heart, limit your intake of saturated fats and completely avoid trans fats (found in hydrogenated oils).
Saturated fat should make up no more than 6-10% of your total daily calorie intake. This is especially important if you have high cholesterol levels.
To control your blood pressure, limit your daily sodium intake to 1500 mg or less.
Ask your doctor if caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea are good for your heart. Enjoy these drinks in moderation with no added cream, milk, or sugar.
Diet is the first step in the treatment of hyperlipidemia and an important link in the treatment of coronary heart disease itself. The implementation of dietary recommendations and adequate physical activity not only in young and middle-aged people, but also in elderly patients independently lead to a decrease in blood lipid levels and an improvement in the condition of patients.
The main principles of diet therapy for atherogenic dyslipidemia include:
Limiting the intake of fats to no more than 30% of the energy value of the daily diet. At the same time, it is desirable that the proportions of saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats be equal.
Limiting the intake of cholesterol with food to 300 mg / day.
An increase in the consumption of complex carbohydrates of plant fiber with a decrease in the amount of easily digestible carbohydrates (sugar), and in general, the share of carbohydrates should be 50-60% of the total energy value of the diet, of which only 7-10% should be easily digestible, the so-called refined carbohydrates.
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An increase in the proportion of vegetable proteins in the diet (at least 50%), from animal proteins, fish is preferable.
Control of the energy value of the diet, taking into account gender, age.
Achievement or maintenance of normal body weight (body mass index no more than 25).
A significant reduction in alcohol consumption, since its large doses in the elderly, in addition to adverse effects on many metabolic processes, are an additional source of energy.
It is advisable to reduce the consumption of table salt. The dietary intake of table salt should be reduced to about 1 g per 1000 kcal and preferably no more than 3 g/day.
The human body can function normally with a very low salt content in the diet, approximately equal to 0.25 g/day. However, the usual diet is many times higher than this figure: from 4 to 20 g / day, which can correspond to a volume equal to 2-4 teaspoons of salt. It should be noted that only 20% of young and middle-aged people are sensitive to salt, and they will clearly respond to a hyposodium diet. In older age groups, the number of such persons is significantly higher.
A significant reduction in daily salt intake (up to 3-4 g) cannot cause any noticeable damage to the body, and therefore all patients should be advised to reduce their intake.
The use of unsalted food contributes to the normalization of blood pressure (BP) in arterial hypertension, a frequent companion and a factor in the progression of atherosclerosis.
The nutrition of patients in the acute period of myocardial infarction and in subsequent stages is different, because. the quantitative and qualitative composition of products can have an adverse effect on the course of the disease: increase or contribute to the occurrence of pain attacks, arrhythmias, heart failure, provoke gastrointestinal disorders.
Immediately after an acute attack, many patients feel weakened, their appetite is reduced. Eating during this period may worsen the condition. Therefore, as long as this feeling persists, eating is not recommended.
Medical tactics are aimed at preventing the possibility of dangerous rhythm disturbances, as well as limiting the zone of myocardial damage.
For the first few days, frequent meals in small portions are recommended; if nausea occurs, dissolve small pieces of ice.
Food should be as sparing as possible, have room temperature, should not cause gas formation and excitation of the nervous system. Drinks containing caffeine should be prohibited, but decaffeinated coffee or tea, warmed blackcurrant juice, orange juice, rosehip broth are allowed.
Pros: Nutritional value, maximum health benefits, variety of foods and flavors.
Cons: difficult to follow, moderately expensive, not very effective for quick weight loss.
The Mediterranean diet is based on the traditional eating habits of people who lived in Greece and southern Italy in the 1960s.
In general, the diet emphasizes whole foods with minimal processing, including whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, and extra virgin olive oil. It also includes moderate amounts of poultry, eggs, low-fat dairy, and red wine.
In addition, the diet limits or eliminates the addition of sugar, refined carbohydrates, highly processed snacks, and red and processed meats.
Numerous studies have linked the Mediterranean diet to a reduced risk of heart disease, as well as heart disease risk factors such as high cholesterol and triglycerides, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.
One review of 11 studies found that following a Mediterranean eating plan reduced the overall risk of heart disease and mortality by 40%.
The heart benefits of this diet are thought to be largely due to the emphasis on whole, minimally processed plant foods and healthy fats.
For example, extra virgin olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and compounds with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
A review of 32 studies linked higher consumption of this oil, but not other monounsaturated fats, with a significant reduction in the risk of overall mortality, heart disease, and stroke.
Study: A comprehensive meta-analysis on evidence of Mediterranean diet and cardiovascular disease: Are individual components equal?, Effects of Olive Oil and Its Minor Components on Cardiovascular Diseases, Inflammation, and Gut Microbiota, Monounsaturated fatty acids, olive oil and health status: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies
Other factors, such as exercise and consuming fewer added sugars, may also contribute to the diet's beneficial effects.
Pros: Benefits for the heart and health in general, nutritional value.
Cons: not effective for quick weight loss, moderate high cost.
DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is a dietary approach to the treatment of hypertension. It was developed to prevent and treat hypertension or high blood pressure. In turn, this reduces the risk of heart disease.
Like the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet does not require a strict food list.
Instead, the diet recommends a certain number of food groups based on your calorie needs, focusing on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and lean meats while limiting red meats, refined grains, and added sugars.
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What's more, the DASH system recommends limiting sodium intake to 1 teaspoon (2300 mg) per day, while the lower salt option recommends no more than 3/4 teaspoon (1500 mg) per day.
For people with high blood pressure, lowering sodium intake has been shown to significantly lower blood pressure, especially when combined with the DASH diet.
However, studies show that this effect is less significant among people with normal blood pressure levels.
The diet's emphasis on high-fiber foods such as whole grains and vegetables, and the exclusion of added sugars and saturated fats, may also contribute to its impact on heart health.
Indeed, studies show that the DASH diet reduces heart disease risk factors such as blood pressure, obesity, waist circumference, cholesterol levels, and insulin resistance.
A study of 7 reviews links the DASH diet with a 20% reduction in heart disease risk, a 19% reduction in stroke risk, and an 18% reduction in type 2 diabetes risk.
Study: DASH Eating Plan: An Eating Pattern for Diabetes Management, Effect of longer term modest salt reduction on blood pressure: Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials, Relationship between dietary quality, determined by DASH score, and cardiometabolic health biomarkers: A cross-sectional analysis in adults, DASH Dietary Pattern and Cardiometabolic Outcomes: An Umbrella Review of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses
Vegan and vegetarian diets
Pros: Reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes. They may also be more environmentally friendly than meat-based diets.
Cons: They can limit important nutrients commonly found in animal products, such as iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Vegetarian and vegan diets are designed to eliminate all meat, including poultry, red meat, and fish.
While some vegetarians include other sources of animal products such as eggs and dairy, vegans strictly avoid all animal ingredients, including dairy, eggs, bee pollen, honey, and gelatin.
Instead, these diets focus on fruits, vegetables, beans, lentils, soy products, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils and fats.
This high proportion of plant foods provides vegans and vegetarians with several health benefits. For example, these diets are often high in fiber, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds that promote heart health.
In addition, regular consumption of whole soy foods such as tofu is good for the heart. In a review of 46 studies, soy protein intake was found to significantly lower LDL (bad) and total cholesterol levels.
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In addition, an observational study of more than 200,000 people linked regular consumption of tofu and isoflavones (soy antioxidants) with a modest reduction in the risk of heart disease.
Several other reviews have found that vegetarian and vegan diets significantly improve risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including high cholesterol and blood pressure, overweight and obesity, and uncontrolled blood sugar.
Of course, the quality of the diet remains important. Vegan or vegetarian diets high in added sugar, refined grains, and highly processed foods do not provide the same heart health benefits as diets high in whole, minimally processed plant foods.
Study: Dietary Fiber Is Beneficial for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: An Umbrella Review of Meta-analyses, A Meta-Analysis of 46 Studies Identified by the FDA Demonstrates that Soy Protein Decreases Circulating LDL and Total Cholesterol Concentrations in Adults, Isoflavone Intake and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in US Men and Women: Results From 3 Prospective Cohort Studies, Plant-Based Diets for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: All Plant Foods Are Not Created Equal
Pros: Flexibility, variety of flavors, more effective in weight loss than the Mediterranean and DASH diets.
Cons: moderately expensive, difficulties associated with cooking.
The diet, developed by nutritionist Dawn Jackson Blatner, is a meal plan that focuses on plant-based foods, but allows moderate amounts of meat, fish, dairy, and other animal products. This encourages you to get most of your protein from plant foods.
There is no set rule for how much and how often you should eat animal products, so it's up to you.
You are advised to eat mostly whole foods with minimal processing and limit or avoid added sugar, refined grains, processed meats, and other highly processed foods.
Although the allowable variations of this diet make it difficult to study, observational studies have linked a more rigorous plant-based diet to a lower risk of heart disease.
In addition, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, which are encouraged by the diet, are associated with improved risk factors for heart disease.
Study: Healthful and Unhealthful Plant-Based Diets and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in US Adults, Randomized controlled trial on the effects of legumes on cardiovascular risk factors in women with abdominal obesity
Compared to a strict vegan or vegetarian diet, the flexitarian diet may be a more realistic option for those who want the heart benefits of a plant-based diet without giving up meat and other animal products.
The TLC Diet
Pros: Benefits your heart, Fairly easy to follow.
Cons: not suitable for quick weight loss.
The abbreviation TLC stands for Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes Diet.
It was developed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
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The diet includes dietary and lifestyle recommendations to ensure optimal cholesterol levels and a healthy weight, such as:
do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a day;
aim to get 25-35% of daily calories from fat;
limiting saturated fat to no more than 7% of the daily calorie intake;
limiting dietary cholesterol to no more than 200 mg per day;
eating 10-25 grams of soluble fiber per day;
consuming at least 2 grams of plant sterols or stanols per day;
Eat enough calories per day to maintain a healthy weight.
Although research is limited, several studies show that the diet lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. In particular, an older 32-day study in 36 adults found that the TLC diet reduced this marker by 11%.
The diet is believed to work by increasing the intake of soluble fiber, which is found in foods such as oat bran, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, and certain fruits and vegetables.
A high total fiber intake is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, and in particular, soluble fiber has been shown to lower total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
The TLC diet also recommends a daily intake of plant stanols, or sterols, which are naturally occurring compounds found in foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Studies show that eating 2 grams of plant sterols or stanols per day, as recommended by the diet, can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by 8-10%.
The final strength of the TLC diet is its recommendation for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day.
Research shows that regular exercise is important for maintaining heart health and protecting against disease. In fact, one review estimates that physical inactivity could account for up to 6% of heart disease cases worldwide.
Study: Effects of Therapeutic Lifestyle Change diets high and low in dietary fish-derived FAs on lipoprotein metabolism in middle-aged and elderly subjects, Phytosterols in the Treatment of Hypercholesterolemia and Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases, Effects of Exercise to Improve Cardiovascular Health
low carb diets
Pros: May reduce risk factors for heart disease, including high cholesterol and blood pressure, may improve blood sugar and insulin levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Cons: May raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, may be difficult to comply with and cause digestive upset, in very rare cases may cause a condition known as ketoacidosis.
Low-carbohydrate diets not only restrict carbohydrate intake, but also tend to be higher in protein and/or fat than the typical Western diet. They tend to limit their intake of foods such as bread, cereals, pasta, potatoes, and sugary snacks and drinks.
Depending on the specific diet, carbohydrates can be limited to 10-40% of calories per day.
Research shows that low-carbohydrate diets can improve heart health by reducing certain risk factors for heart disease, including overweight, obesity, high triglycerides, and high blood pressure, while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
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While one review found an increase in LDL (bad) cholesterol, it also showed a greater increase in HDL (good) cholesterol, suggesting that low-carbohydrate diets can help maintain a favorable LDL-to-HDL ratio.
While these results are promising, longer-term studies are needed.
Also, not all low-carbohydrate diets are inherently good for the heart. Some observational studies have noted an increased risk of heart disease and related death in people following these diets.
Study: Low-carbohydrate diets differing in carbohydrate restriction improve cardiometabolic and anthropometric markers in healthy adults: A randomized clinical trial, The effects of low-carbohydrate diets on cardiovascular risk factors: A meta-analysis, Lower carbohydrate diets and all-cause and cause -specific mortality: a population-based cohort study and pooling of prospective studies
However, a study that looked at dietary quality associated with low-carbohydrate diets rich in vegetable protein and fat was associated with a reduced risk of death from heart disease and all causes, while diets high in animal protein and fat were associated with an increased risk.
So the quality of the diet is key. In particular, low-carb diets should contain adequate fiber from plant-based foods such as vegetables and emphasize healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, minimally processed vegetable oils, and omega-3-rich fish.
In addition to the considered diets, it is recommended to supplement the diet with potassium and magnesium.
For hypertension and circulatory failure, a potassium diet has been used for many years, in which the content of potassium and sodium is not less than 8:1 and not more than 14:1. This diet includes dried apricots, raisins, nuts, potatoes, cabbage, rose hips, gooseberries, black currants, oranges, tangerines, lean meat, barley, oatmeal, millet groats.
The chemical composition of the potassium diet is defective, so it is prescribed for 3-5 days.
Kempner's rice-compote diet, prescribed for 3-5 days for hypertension, circulatory failure and kidney failure, is also potassium.
It consists of boiled rice without salt and six glasses of dried fruit compote. Daily set of products: 50 g of rice, 100 g of sugar, 1.5 kg of fresh or 240 g of dried fruit.
In an analysis of 33 studies involving 128,644 people, scientists found that people who ate the most potassium had a 24% lower risk of stroke than people who ate the least.
Study: Effect of increased potassium intake on cardiovascular risk factors and disease: systematic review and meta-analyses
What's more, a diet high in potassium can help lower blood pressure and water retention, protect against stroke, and prevent osteoporosis and kidney stones.
Unfortunately, few people get enough potassium. To increase your diet, consume more foods rich in this mineral.
Potassium is found in many whole foods, especially fruits, vegetables, and fish.
Most health authorities agree that a daily intake of 3,500–4,700 mg of potassium is optimal.
Potassium content in products per 100 grams:
Beet greens, cooked: 909 mg
Baked potatoes: 544 mg.
Avocado: 485 mg.
Sweet potatoes, baked: 475 mg.
Spinach, cooked: 466 mg
Kale: 447 mg.
Salmon, cooked: 414 mg.
Bananas: 358 mg.
Peas, cooked: 271 mg
In many countries, dietary authorities limit the amount of potassium in over-the-counter supplements to 99 mg, which is far less than the amount you can get from a single serving of potassium-rich whole foods.
This 99mg limit is likely because many studies have shown that high doses of potassium from supplements can damage the gut and even lead to death from cardiac arrhythmias.
However, people who are potassium deficient can get a higher dose supplement prescription from their doctor.
In addition, studies show that taking magnesium can lower blood pressure.
In one study, people taking 450 mg per day saw significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
However, these benefits may only appear in people with high blood pressure.
The recommended daily dose is 400-420 mg per day for men and 310-320 mg per day for women.
You can get it from both food and supplements.
The following foods are good sources of magnesium:
Pumpkin seeds: 46% RDI per 1/4 cup (16 grams).
Boiled spinach: 39% RDI per cup (180 g).
Dark chocolate (70-85% cocoa): 33% RDI per 100 grams.
Quinoa, cooked: 33% RDI per cup (185 g).
Halibut: 27% RDI per 100 grams.
Almonds: 25% of the RDI in a quarter cup (24 grams).
Cashews: 25% RDI in a quarter cup (30 grams).
Mackerel: 19% of the RDI per 100 grams.
Avocado: 15% RDI in one medium avocado (200 grams).
Salmon: 9% of the RDI per 100 grams.
Russian scientists have developed a magnesium diet for patients with hypertension, containing foods rich in magnesium salts: soybeans, white beans, rose hips, buckwheat and millet groats, carrots, wheat bran, nuts.
Salt, extractive substances of meat and fish are excluded from the diet, free fluid is limited.
Assign in the form of three consecutive diets, each for 3-4 days. Below is a sample one-day magnesium diet menu.
1st breakfast: buckwheat porridge with wheat bran 150 g, tea with lemon 200 g;
2nd breakfast: grated carrots 100 g with 5 g of vegetable oil;
lunch: borscht with slimy bran broth 250 g, millet porridge with dried apricots 150 g, rosehip broth 100 g;
afternoon snack: apricot juice 100 g;
dinner: cottage cheese soufflé 150 g, tea with lemon 200 g;
at night: rosehip broth 100 g.
1st breakfast: oatmeal porridge 250 g, tea with lemon 200 g;
2nd breakfast: soaked prunes 50 g;
lunch: cabbage soup with slimy bran broth 250 g, boiled meat with beet stew with vegetable oil 50/160 g, apple 100 g;
afternoon snack: carrot salad with apples 100 g, rosehip broth 100 g;
dinner: buckwheat krupenik with cottage cheese 250 g, tea 200 g;
for the whole day: bread with bran 125 g.
1st breakfast: grated carrots 150 g, millet porridge 250 g, tea with lemon 200 g;
2nd breakfast: soaked dried apricots 100 g, wheat bran decoction 100 g;
lunch: oatmeal soup with vegetables and slimy bran broth 250 g, boiled chicken 85 g, cabbage cutlets 200 g, rosehip broth 200 g;
afternoon snack: fresh apple 100 g;
dinner: cottage cheese soufflé 150 g, carrot-apple cutlets 200 g, tea 200 g;
at night: tomato juice 100 g;
for the whole day: bread with bran 250 g, sugar 30 g.
The rations contain on average, respectively: proteins 40, 65 and 85 g; fat 50, 55 and 80 g; carbohydrates 150, 250 and 350 g; energy value 1200, 1700 and 2500 kcal; magnesium content 0.8–1.2 g.
The 3 Day Heart Diet includes a very limited selection of foods in small amounts. Substitutions are not allowed, making it difficult to follow the diet if you have any dietary restrictions or special food preferences.
In addition, you may be at risk of nutritional deficiencies if you follow multiple diet cycles, especially since the diet may not be tailored to people with different body sizes, activity levels, or nutritional needs.
The 3 Day Heart Diet requires you to carefully measure your food intake and stick to strict guidelines, which can be difficult and time consuming.
Thus, such a diet is more difficult to maintain in the long term compared to other meal plans.
In fact, certain foods can affect blood pressure, triglyceride levels, cholesterol, and inflammation, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.
Here are 15 foods you should be eating to maximize your heart health:
Leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale, and collard greens)
In particular, they are a great source of vitamin K, which helps protect your arteries and promote proper blood clotting.
They are also rich in dietary nitrates, which have been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce arterial stiffness, and improve the function of the cells that line blood vessels.
One analysis of eight studies found that an increase in consumption of leafy green vegetables was associated with a 16% reduction in the incidence of cardiovascular disease.
Study: The effect of green leafy and cruciferous vegetable intake on the incidence of cardiovascular disease: A meta-analysis
Common types of whole grains include whole grains, brown rice, oats, rye, barley, buckwheat, and quinoa.
One analysis of 45 studies concluded that eating an additional three servings of whole grains daily was associated with a 22% lower risk of heart disease.
Study: Whole grain consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all cause and cause specific mortality: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies
Berries are rich in antioxidants such as anthocyanins, which protect against oxidative stress and inflammation that contribute to heart disease.
For example, one study in 27 adults with metabolic syndrome found that drinking a freeze-dried strawberry drink for eight weeks reduced "bad" LDL cholesterol by 11%.
Study: Strawberries decrease atherosclerotic markers in subjects with metabolic syndrome
Avocados are a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which have been linked to lower cholesterol levels and lower risk of heart disease.
One study looked at the effects of three cholesterol-lowering diets in 45 overweight and obese people, with one of the study groups consuming one avocado per day.
The avocado group experienced a reduction in “bad” LDL cholesterol, including lower levels of small, dense LDL cholesterol, which is thought to significantly increase the risk of heart disease.
Avocados are also rich in potassium, which is essential for heart health. In fact, just one avocado provides 975 milligrams of potassium, or about 28% of the amount you need per day.
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Getting at least 4.7 grams of potassium per day can lower blood pressure by an average of 8.0/4.1 mmHg, which reduces the risk of stroke by 15%.
Oily fish and fish oil
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been extensively studied for their heart health benefits.
In one study of 324 people, eating salmon three times a week for eight weeks significantly reduced diastolic blood pressure.
Study: Moderate consumption of fatty fish reduces diastolic blood pressure in overweight and obese European young adults during energy restriction
Fish oil supplements have been shown to lower blood triglyceride levels, improve arterial function, and lower blood pressure. Other omega-3 supplements such as krill oil or algae oil are popular alternatives.
Walnuts are an excellent source of fiber and micronutrients such as magnesium, copper and manganese.
Research shows that walnuts help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and may be associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
Study: Effects of walnut consumption on blood lipids and other cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis and systematic review
Beans, high in resistant starch, have been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides, lower blood pressure, and reduce inflammation.
Study: Effect of dietary pulse intake on established therapeutic lipid targets for cardiovascular risk reduction: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants such as flavonoids. This was associated with a lower risk of developing calcified plaque in the arteries and coronary heart disease.
Study: Chocolate consumption is inversely associated with calcified atherosclerotic plaque in the coronary arteries: the NHLBI Family Heart Study
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene and have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as increased “good” HDL cholesterol.
Study: Effect of tomato consumption on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level: a randomized, single-blinded, controlled clinical trial
Almonds are rich in fiber and monounsaturated fats and also lower cholesterol and belly fat.
Study: Role of cis-Monunsaturated Fatty Acids in the Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease
Chia seeds, flaxseed, and hemp seeds are excellent sources of heart-healthy nutrients, including fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
Human and animal studies have shown that eating seeds can improve several risk factors for heart disease, including inflammation, blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides.
Study: Effect of dietary alpha-linolenic fatty acid derived from chia when fed as ground seed, whole seed and oil on lipid content and fatty acid composition of rat plasma
In recent years, research has confirmed its powerful medicinal properties and found that garlic can improve heart health. This is due to the presence of a compound called allicin.
Study: Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects
Garlic and its components have been shown to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They can also help prevent blood clots.
It is rich in antioxidants that reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
It is an immature soybean often found in Asian cuisine.
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Edamame contains soy isoflavones, which have been shown to help lower cholesterol levels. Edamame also contains fiber and antioxidants, which may also benefit heart health.
Green tea is rich in polyphenols and catechins. This is associated with lower levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure.
Including these heart-healthy foods as part of a nutritious and well-balanced diet can help keep your heart in good shape and minimize your risk of heart disease.
A comprehensive meta-analysis on evidence of Mediterranean diet and cardiovascular disease: Are individual components equal?
Effects of Olive Oil and Its Minor Components on Cardiovascular Diseases, Inflammation, and Gut Microbiota
Monounsaturated fatty acids, olive oil and health status: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies
DASH Eating Plan: An Eating Pattern for Diabetes Management
Effect of longer term modest salt reduction on blood pressure: Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials
Relationship between dietary quality, determined by DASH score, and cardiometabolic health biomarkers: A cross-sectional analysis in adults
DASH Dietary Pattern and Cardiometabolic Outcomes: An Umbrella Review of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses
Dietary Fiber Is Beneficial for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: An Umbrella Review of Meta-analyses
A Meta-Analysis of 46 Studies Identified by the FDA Demonstrates that Soy Protein Decreases Circulating LDL and Total Cholesterol Concentrations in Adults
Isoflavone Intake and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in US Men and Women: Results From 3 Prospective Cohort Studies
Plant-Based Diets for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: All Plant Foods Are Not Created Equal
Healthful and Unhealthful Plant-Based Diets and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in US Adults
Randomized controlled trial on the effects of legumes on cardiovascular risk factors in women with abdominal obesity
Effects of Therapeutic Lifestyle Change diets high and low in dietary fish-derived FAs on lipoprotein metabolism in middle-aged and elderly subjects
Phytosterols in the Treatment of Hypercholesterolemia and Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases
Effects of Exercise to Improve Cardiovascular Health
Low-carbohydrate diets differing in carbohydrate restriction improve cardiometabolic and anthropometric markers in healthy adults: A randomised clinical trial
The effects of low-carbohydrate diets on cardiovascular risk factors: A meta-analysis
Lower carbohydrate diets and all-cause and cause-specific mortality: a population-based cohort study and pooling of prospective studies
Effect of increased potassium intake on cardiovascular risk factors and disease: systematic review and meta-analyses
The effect of green leafy and cruciferous vegetable intake on the incidence of cardiovascular disease: A meta-analysis
Whole grain consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all cause and cause specific mortality: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies
Strawberries decrease atherosclerotic markers in subjects with metabolic syndrome
Moderate consumption of fatty fish reduces diastolic blood pressure in overweight and obese European young adults during energy restriction
Effects of walnut consumption on blood lipids and other cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis and systematic review
Effect of dietary pulse intake on established therapeutic lipid targets for cardiovascular risk reduction: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
Chocolate consumption is inversely associated with calcified atherosclerotic plaque in the coronary arteries: the NHLBI Family Heart Study
Effect of tomato consumption on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level: a randomized, single-blinded, controlled clinical trial
Role of cis-Monunsaturated Fatty Acids in the Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease
Effect of dietary alpha-linolenic fatty acid derived from chia when fed as ground seed, whole seed and oil on lipid content and fatty acid composition of rat plasma
Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects