Plant-based diets could benefit people with heart disease

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Have you ever wondered how the food you eat affects your heart and overall health?

Well, a new study has found that eating a healthy diet can reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke, especially if you already have cardiovascular disease.

The study was conducted by researchers from McMaster University and the Population Health Research Institute in Hamilton, Canada.

They looked at over 27,000 patients from 33 countries who had either coronary artery disease (CAD) or peripheral artery disease (PAD), both of which put people at high risk for heart attack and stroke.

The researchers asked the patients about their diets using a food frequency questionnaire that included all major food groups.

They then used two different measures of diet quality, the Alternate Healthy Eating Index and the Mediterranean diet score, to rate how healthy the patients’ diets were.

Over 30 months of follow-up, the researchers found that patients with a high-quality diet, emphasizing whole foods and minimizing processed foods and red meat, had a lower risk of cardiovascular and limb events, including heart attack and stroke.

In fact, for every 5-point reduction in the diet quality score, there was a 7% increase in cardiovascular and limb events.

Patients with the worst diet quality had a 27% higher risk of these events compared to those with the best diet quality.

The researchers also found that the Mediterranean diet, which is known to be protective against heart disease, was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular and limb events, although the difference was not statistically significant.

Overall, the study suggests that improving the overall quality of your diet, rather than focusing on specific foods, can reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.

This includes eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and high-fiber foods, choosing white meat over red meat, and eating minimally processed foods.

So, next time you sit down to eat, remember that the food you choose can have a big impact on your heart and overall health.

How to protect heart health in heart disease

If you have heart disease, it’s important to take steps to protect your heart health. Here are some tips:

Eat a heart-healthy diet: A healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats can help lower your risk of heart disease. Limit your intake of saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium.

Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can help lower your risk of heart disease and improve your heart health. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week, or a combination of both.

Manage stress: Chronic stress can increase your risk of heart disease. Find ways to manage stress, such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, or talking to a therapist.

Quit smoking: Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease. Quitting smoking can lower your risk of heart disease and improve your overall health.

Take your medications as prescribed: If you have been prescribed medication for heart disease, it’s important to take them as prescribed by your doctor. Don’t stop taking your medications without talking to your doctor first.

Monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol: High blood pressure and high cholesterol are both risk factors for heart disease. Monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels regularly, and work with your doctor to manage them if they are high.

Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of heart disease. If you need to lose weight, work with your doctor or a registered dietitian to develop a healthy weight-loss plan.

Remember, taking care of your heart health is important for your overall health and well-being. Talk to your doctor about other steps you can take to protect your heart health.

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 heart health, please see recent studies about how to remove plaques that cause heart attacks, and results showing a new way to prevent heart attacks, strokes.

The study was conducted by Darryl Wan et al and published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

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