Cardiovascular disease (CVD), a group of diseases that includes conditions that affect the heart or vascular system such as coronary heart disease, peripheral arterial disease, and even pulmonary embolism, are the most common causes of death worldwide. More than 600,000 people in the United States die of heart disease every year, making it an important condition to prevent whenever possible.
A risk factor for developing CVD is having a family history of the disease. Suppose you have at least one member of your blood family who has CVD or suffered from cardiovascular disease such as a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, or high blood pressure. In this case, you have a positive family history of CVD, which increases your own risk of developing this disease.
Fortunately, CVD development is multifactorial. Even if you have a parent or grandparent who has this condition, there are certain eating habits you can adopt that can help keep your ticker healthy, despite your genetic predisposition.
Read on for more, and for more on how to eat healthy, don’t miss The #1 Best Supplement If You Have Heart Disease, Says Registered Dietitian.
Instead of cutting out the foods you love from your diet, make it a point to add foods that promote heart health. Luckily for nut lovers, the simple act of including a serving of nuts, just a handful (1 ounce) in your daily diet may help support heart health.
Walnuts are the only nuts that are an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the essential plant-based omega-3 fatty acid at 2.5 grams per ounce. Research has shown that Eating foods high in ALA omega-3s may help reduce the risk of heart disease through anti-inflammatory effects. Additionally, nuts naturally contain nutrients that may help reduce the risk of CVD, including magnesium and potassium.
Additionally, a recent Harvard study found that participants who ate about a handful (five or more 1-ounce servings) of nuts per week had a lower risk of death and dying from cardiovascular disease. Additionally, participants who ate walnuts gained about 1.3 years over their lifetimecompared to those who said they did not eat nuts.
Adding nuts to yogurt parfaits, salads, and even pasture planks is an easy way to include more of these powerhouse nuts in your diet. Or, if you have a sweet tooth, try dipping them in dark chocolate for some major decadence.
The fat-free lifestyle craze has caught on, and we now understand the importance of including the right types of fats in our diets to support our health and well-being.
Olive oil is a source of monounsaturated fatty acids and polyphenols, which are natural plant compounds with antioxidant properties. And recent data published in Clinical Nutrition shows that olive oil consumption is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, with the greatest benefit seen when people consume between 20 and 30 grams of this oil each (about 1. 5 to 2.25 tablespoons per day).
According to a study published in BMC Medicine.
The obvious way to include more olive oil in your diet is to pour it over your vegetables, meats, and bread. What is less known is that this oil can be used in your baking in place of saturated fat sources like butter and lard. For this, simply substitute three quarters of your butter or lard in a recipe with olive oil.
RELATED: Cooking With Olive Oil Lowers Risk Of Deadly Diseases, New Study Finds
Simply eating more fruit can lead to reduced risk of developing CVDthanks to the vitamins, fibers, minerals and phytochemicals they provide.
Unfortunately, only 1 in 10 Americans eat the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day. But what many people may not realize is that all forms of fruit “count” toward a fruit intake quota, including fresh, juiced, frozen, and freeze-dried fruit, as long as it there are no added sugars.
For people who don’t have access to fresh options all the time, a simple solution to including more fruit in your diet is to rely on dried fruit. The data published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that people who ate dried fruit regularly had higher quality diets and were more likely to get enough under-consumed, heart-healthy nutrients like fiber and potassium than people who didn’t. did not include fruit in their diet.
Prunes are a dried fruit linked to positive outcomes for heart health; One to study found that postmenopausal women who ate 5-6 of these fruits daily for six months had improved factors for cardiovascular disease, including increased levels of “good” HDL cholesterol as well as reduced inflammation.
It may come as a surprise that just sipping green tea can support your heart health and reduce your risk of CVD, but according to results of a meta-analysis Evaluating a total of 9 studies, including 259,267 people, those who drank no green tea at all had higher CVD risks than those who drank more than one cup of tea per day. More frequent consumption of green tea (1 to 3 cups per week) was linked to a reduced risk of stroke compared to those who drank less than one cup per week.
Whether consumed hot or iced, including green tea in your diet is an incredibly simple way to reduce your risk of CVD. Not a tea drinker? Green tea supplements are available and also appear to be effective in supporting heart health.
RELATED: The secret effects of drinking green tea, according to science
Limiting sodium is dietary advice related to CVD risk reduction. The World Health Organization has recommended that people limit their sodium intake to less than 5 grams per day to help support heart healtha goal that many Americans struggle to achieve.
Nobody wants to eat bland, tasteless food. But adding salt to your dishes isn’t your only option when you want a little spice in your meal. Instead of reaching for the salt shaker, try adding herbs and spices like garlic, turmeric, basil, and red pepper flakes to your favorite recipes for a sodium-free and surprisingly delicious addition.
Ultra-processed meats that are cured, smoked or otherwise preserved have been linked to increased risk of CVD thanks to the presence of certain components such as sodium, nitrates and L-carnitine that can lead to increased blood pressure, worsening of oxidative stress, greater lipid peroxidation and unfavorable alterations in the intestinal microbiome.
Replacing processed red meat (such as hot dogs and deli meats) with other protein sources such as fish, poultry and nuts has been associated with increased decreased incidence of coronary heart diseaseaccording to data published in Traffic.
Although the Mediterranean diet is labeled as a diet, it is actually a way of life that emphasizes physical activity and eating meals with others. Foods that feature prominently on this diet include the foods you would expect to see on the plates of people living by the Mediterranean Sea: olive oil, nuts, seeds, fish, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Fried foods, concentrated sweets, and many types of meat are limited on this diet.
Data shows that those who stick to Mediterranean diet guidelines have better cardiovascular health outcomes, including reduced rates of coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke, and total cardiovascular disease.