Keep Your Heart Healthy with Grains, Fruits, and Veggies

Another study has just compounded more proof that whole grains, veggies, and fruits are definitely good for you by decreasing your risk for heart failure by as much as 41%. On the other hand, a diet rich in sweet tea, processed foods, fried foods, and meat—known as the Southern Diet—increased people’s chance of heart failure by as much as 72%.

Dr. Kayla Lara a heart doctor of Mayo Clinic in Minnesota stated that processed and red meat should be limited in the diet and increase consumption of plant-based food. However, the doctor did caution from over-generalization that a particular diet can prevent or cause heart failure. It must be emphasized that these diets are linked to and not a causative factor.

Tips for Heart Failure Prevention

According to sources, there are several ways that you can support heart health and prevent heart failure. Among them are eating healthy foods, maintaining a healthy weight, keeping blood pressure levels normal, and not smoking.

And when it comes to eating healthy, a lot of people must have access to low-cost healthy foods as well as be educated on the advantages of a plant-based diet. Dr. Lara even went on to say that when it comes to a better quality of life and health promotion, animal meat is not essentially necessary for a nutritious diet. She pushes that a plant-based diet is where the health industry is leaning to and people need to embrace this.

A Deeper Look into the Heart Healthy Diet Study

The study was conducted within a 9-year follow-up on 16,000 individuals ranging from 45-years old and above. They have also classified 5 diets in the study based on questionnaires and they are:

  • Alcohol and salads – consumed more of leafy greens, salad dressing, beer, liquor, and wine.
  • Southern – consumed more of sugar-sweetened drinks, added fats, eggs, processed meats, and fried foods.
  • Sweet and fatty – consumed more of sugary food, chocolate, sweet breakfast food, bread, and other desserts.
  • Plant-based – more of fish, beans, fruits, and vegetables.
  • Convenient Food – consumed more fast food, pizza, Mexican food, pasta, and meats.

Results of The Study

None of the other diets resulted in a statistically significant link to heart failure as well as no specific type of heart failure incurred can be linked to a specific type of diet. It was also seen that when other factors were taken into consideration such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, waist size, and weight the benefit of the plant-based diet and the negative effect of the Southern diet is not significant, statistically speaking.

Heart Healthy Points to Remember

The study and Dr. Lara point out that the key takeout is that individuals need to cut back on red meats, processed meats, junk food, fast food, cheese, and fried foods in order to maintain or achieve optimum health. Further, it is not only food that plays a role in keeping your heart healthy, but lifestyle and activity significantly contribute to a poorly functioning heart. This then affects overall life quality and death rates.

Lastly, the emphasis on a plant-based diet should be put forth deepen as it has shown to lower the risk for various chronic health diseases, not just heart-related issues.

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