How 10 popular diets scored for heart health

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Are you thinking about trying a new diet, but you’re not sure which one is best for your heart health?

Well, a recent study by the American Heart Association (AHA) has found that some diets are better for your heart than others.

The study evaluated 10 popular diets or eating patterns and how well they align with the AHA’s dietary guidance for heart-healthy eating.

The diets were rated on a scale of 1 to 100 for how well they adhered to the guidance.

The study found that the Mediterranean, DASH-style, pescetarian, and vegetarian diets were strongly aligned with heart-healthy eating guidelines.

On the other hand, the popular paleo and ketogenic diets contradicted them.

The DASH eating plan got a perfect score, and the Mediterranean eating pattern had a slightly lower score because it allows for moderate alcohol consumption and does not address added salt.

The pescetarian diet, which allows for seafood in addition to plant-based foods, and vegetarian diet also were in the top tier.

Vegan and low-fat diets fell into the second tier, while very low-fat and low-carb diets fall into the third tier. Both the Paleolithic and very low-carb/ketogenic diets fall into the bottom tier.

The study’s authors noted that more research and education are needed to show people how to follow eating patterns in ways that are culturally relevant to ensure their effectiveness.

They also emphasized that efforts need to be made to include historically marginalized groups in the research to reduce the impact of structural racism on diet-related diseases.

So, if you’re looking to improve your heart health with a new diet, consider following the top-tier dietary patterns as they align best with the AHA’s guidance.

And remember, a sustainable diet that you can stick to long-term is the key to success.

How to improve heart health

There are several ways to improve heart health, and they include:

Eating a healthy diet: Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can improve heart health.

As mentioned earlier, the Mediterranean, DASH-style, pescetarian, and vegetarian diets have been found to be strongly aligned with heart-healthy eating guidelines.

Regular exercise: Regular physical activity can improve heart health by reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, every week.

Quitting smoking: Smoking damages the blood vessels and increases the risk of heart disease. Quitting smoking can improve heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Managing stress: Chronic stress can increase the risk of heart disease. Managing stress through meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises can improve heart health.

Maintaining a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese increases the risk of heart disease. Maintaining a healthy weight through healthy eating habits and regular exercise can improve heart health.

Limiting alcohol consumption: Drinking too much alcohol can increase blood pressure and damage the heart.

Limiting alcohol consumption to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men can improve heart health.

Managing chronic conditions: Chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes can increase the risk of heart disease.

Managing these conditions through medication, lifestyle changes, and regular medical check-ups can improve heart health.

By incorporating these habits into your lifestyle, you can improve your heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease.

If you care about heart health, please read studies about how eating eggs can help reduce heart disease risk, and herbal supplements could harm your heart rhythm.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about how drinking milk affects risks of heart disease and cancer, and results showing DASH diet is good for your blood pressure, and vegetable diet may reduce heart disease risk.

The study was published in Circulation.

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