Plant-Based Diet Rich in Olive Oil, Tomatoes Lowers Heart Disease Risk

Good News Notes:

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the US. To avoid it, a mostly plant-based diet is your best bet, according to a meta-analysis published July 6 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.

Processed meat is a major culprit in heart disease risk

The study found a clear link between higher odds of developing heart disease and diets high in processed meat, such as sausage, salami, and bacon. To protect your heart, the study suggests eating processed meat only occasionally, fewer than two servings per week.

Red meat is also significantly associated with heart disease risk, according to data, although the risk is less clear. Swapping out red meat for other protein sources is good for heart health, the study concluded.

Butter, the study found, is not directly linked to significant risk of heart disease in moderation. However, the researchers noted that it contains many of the dietary fats that can jeopardize heart health, and found that replacing it with olive oil was linked to lower disease risk. 

Fish and chicken weren’t associated with the same risks, the study found, suggesting it may be OK to include some animal products in a healthy diet…..”

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