Plant-based diet best way to avoid heart disease, new study shows
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death around the world, and one of the best way to avoid that is to eat whole and plant-based foods, according to a new report by Italian researchers published in Cardiovascular Research.
Researchers from the University of Naples reviewed nearly 100 studies on the relationship between heart disease risk and dietary habits. They focused on specific categories of food, such as red meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, produce, nuts, and grains.
They found that sticking to a mostly plant-based diet, rich in veggies and low in meat, was linked to better heart health and lower risk of dying from heart disease.
In particular, cutting back on butter and red meat in favor of leafy greens, tomatoes, and olive oil could protect your heart, the study suggests.
This is important, because people are eating themselves to death: According to the 2017 Global Burden of Disease study, poor food choices account for almost 50 percent of all cardiovascular disease fatalities.
Unfortunately, the typical Western diet is filled with ultra-processed foods, which are cheap, tasty, convenient — and detrimental to heart health.
And, anecdotally at least, some of us may be relying on such foods even more during the coronavirus pandemic. Eating this way opens the door for heart disease.
Eating at least two servings a day of vegetables was linked to up to 34% lower risk of dying from heart disease, according to the study. Leafy green vegetables and tomatoes were linked to the most benefit.
Fruit is also helpful for heart health, although the type of fruit matter. Fruits that are higher in fiber and micronutrients, like apples, berries, and citrus, are better for you.
The study found processed fruits like juice and canned fruit can actually raise your risk of heart disease.