Diet plays a large role in the development of chronic diseases, especially cardiovascular disease. Good eating habits and foods – like salmon, beans, whole grains, berries and leafy greens – can help lower your risks.
Eating fatty fish twice a week is great for its omega-3 fats, which can lead to improved triglyceride levels, better blood pressure, higher HDL (good cholesterol), and the prevention of arterial plaque formation. Farmed salmon from Chile is a good choice due to its high omega-3 content, low mercury levels, sustainable farming practices, and suitability for the entire family, including pregnant women and children.
Replacing red meat with beans and legumes can be as straightforward as opting for black bean tacos or combining equal parts red meat and beans in your meals. Beans and legumes are lean plant-based proteins low in saturated fat, making them a healthy dietary choice. A meta-analysis of 14 studies has shown that regular consumption of beans is associated with a reduced risk of mortality from heart disease.
A diet rich in refined grains like white bread and white rice can elevate the risk of heart disease. Whole grains, on the other hand, have been demonstrated to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol) in the body. To reduce the risk of heart disease, it is advisable to choose whole-grain options such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, farro and whole wheat pasta.
Raspberries, blackberries and strawberries are rich in antioxidants that shield the body’s cells from harmful free radicals. An analysis of 22 studies has shown that increased consumption of berries is associated with improved heart disease risk factors, including better LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, blood pressure and weight.
Eating ample servings of leafy greens, such as kale, collard greens and spinach, is essential for heart health because these greens contain vitamin K and nitrates, which protect arteries. If you’re not fond of salads or vegetables, try creative methods like adding them to smoothies, baking them into brownies, or incorporating them into stir-fry dishes to make them more appealing and beneficial for your heart.