Scientists reveal the heart-friendly diet

Are you the kind that eats plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes? If so, you are on the right track.

A team from Icahn School of Medicine in New York has discovered that a plant-based diet may help to reduce the risk of heart failure. (Interestingly, another team of researchers found that increasing coffee consumption by one cup per week may reduce the risk of heart failure by seven percent and stroke by eight percent.)

The team recruited 15,569 participants for the diet study and monitored their health for four years.

According to the study, people who eat more fruits and vegetables are 42 per cent less likely to develop heart ailments than those who consume fewer plant-based foods.

The team studied five different diet types:

  • Convenience: Red meats, pastas, fried potatoes, fast foods
  • Plant-based: Dark leafy vegetables, fruits, beans, fish
  • Sweets: Desserts, breads, sweet breakfast foods, chocolate, candy
  • Southern: Eggs, fried food, organ meats, processed meat, sugar-sweetened drinks
  • Alcohol/salads: Salad dressings, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, butter, wine

The findings indicated that participants who followed the plant-based diet were at a lower risk of heart failure. There were no associations for the other four dietary patterns found. According to the scientists, eating a diet of mostly dark green leafy plants, fruits, beans, whole grains and fish, while limiting processed meats, saturated fats, trans-fats, refined carbohydrates and foods high in added sugars, is a heart-healthy lifestyle and may specifically help prevent heart failure.

The study was carried out using an artificially intelligent machine-learning system.

Conventional wisdom also indicates that eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, cutting down on salt and maintaining a healthy weight help lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.

So go ahead, and choose the right kind of a diet for a better quality life.


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