Maintaining a healthy heart is the key to keeping away from diseases and also for overall well-being. It is said that the food we eat plays a vital role in achieving this goal. Health experts suggest making mindful choices when it comes to your diet. The important thing when planning your diet, they say, is to focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and others, and to eat saturated fats and added sugars in moderation.
Risk factors and mindful food choices:
Your food choices can impact certain factors that can lead to heart diseases. This includes the potential to increase your risk of high blood pressure, elevated triglyceride levels, and unhealthy cholesterol profiles, all of which can contribute to heart issues. Additionally, certain dietary patterns can promote inflammation in the body, which is another factor linked to heart disease. Making mindful food choices can help manage these risks and promote better heart health.
Fruits and vegetables to promote a healthier heart: Consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is critical. A study conducted by NHLBI, featured in the Annals of Internal Medicine, reveals that both the DASH diet and diets abundant in fruits and vegetables can substantially decrease biomarkers linked to heart cell damage and strain. Also, including fruits like berries, apples, and citrus fruits, as well as vegetables like leafy greens, carrots, and broccoli, in your diet help keep the heart healthy and ticking.
Whole grains to mitigate the risk of coronary heart disease: Numerous studies have consistently shown that incorporating more whole grains into your diet can be beneficial for reducing the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Foods like whole wheat, brown rice, oats, and quinoa are rich in fibre and can help lower cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease. Studies indicate that a higher consumption of various whole grain foods, with the exception of popcorn, is linked to a lower risk of CHD.
Lean proteins to lower total cholesterol levels: The origin of your protein, says an article in the Heart Foundation, whether from plants or animals, can impact your heart health. Legumes, a plant-based protein source, offer added benefits due to their soluble fibre content, micronutrients, and low glycemic index (GI). Adding beans (like black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans), lentils, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), and peas in your diet can aid in maintaining a healthy heart. The soluble fibre in legumes helps lower total cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease.
Healthy fats to reduce bad cholesterol levels: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of deaths worldwide, claiming about 17.3 million lives each year. To reduce the risk of CVD, the American Heart Association recommends eating less saturated fat and replacing it with healthier fats, especially polyunsaturated fats. You can do this by following balanced diets like the DASH or Mediterranean diet. A number of studies have shown that when people replaced saturated fat with polyunsaturated vegetable oil in their diets, it reduced their risk of CVD by about 30 percent, which is similar to the reduction achieved with statin medications. Include sources of healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil in your diet. These fats help reduce bad cholesterol levels and support heart health.
Fatty fish for heart rhythm issues: Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna are abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, which is why they offer heart-boosting perks in abundance. The omega-3s from fatty fish can lower the risk of heart disease and help prevent heart rhythm issues. Regularly consuming fish over the long term can help maintain healthy levels of total cholesterol, blood triglycerides, fasting blood sugar, and systolic blood pressure. Additionally, it also helps lower the risk of heart issues, improve mood, and promote good health.