Saturday, August 26, 2017

Which Diet Could Prevent Heart Disease?

Heart disease is the number one killers globally. People who are smokers, overweight or obese, have diabetes, high blood pressure are at a higher risk of developing heart disease. To prevent heart disease, one should not only have more physical activities but also follow a heart-healthy diet. 

When it comes to heart-healthy diets, there are so many different varieties, for instance, low-fat diets, low-carb diets, Mediterranean diets, and many others. When facing so many alternatives, people may find it hard to decide which diet should they adopt.

Following a heart-healthy diet may, however, not be as confusing as one may image. First of all, let us look at some of the diets.

Carb (carbohydrate) is one of the 3 macronutrients (the other 2 are protein and fat). Main purpose of carbs is to provide energy. Most carbs get broken down or transformed into glucose that can be used as energy. Carbs can also be turned into fat (stored energy) for later use.

Among carbs, there are whole and refined carbs. Being unprocessed, whole carbs contain the fiber found naturally in the food (vegetables, whole fruit, legumes, potatoes and whole grains). Refined carbs, on the other hand, have been processed and had the natural fiber stripped out. Good examples of refined carbs include sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juices, pastries, white bread, white pasta, white rice.

Numerous studies show that refined carb consumption is associated with health problems like obesity and Type-2 diabetes but hundreds of studies have also reported that eating high-fiber carbs like vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains could lead to improved metabolic health and a lower risk of disease. Likewise, scientists have found that some fats are actually good for the body, for instance, omega-3 fatty acids. As a result, the contemporary dietary recommendations from proponents of the low-carb diets and the low-fat diets increasingly resemble each other.

The renowned Mediterranean Diet, a diet incorporates the traditional healthy living habits of people from countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, can be viewed at a compromise between low-fat and low-carb. Despite some variations by region, a typical Mediterranean diet involves eating plenty of starchy foods, such as bread and pasta (wholegrains varieties), plenty of fruit and vegetables, some fish, less meat, and choosing products made from vegetable and plant oils, such as olive oil. A 2013 study found that people following a Mediterranean diet had a 30 percent lower risk of heart disease and stroke.

It is not necessary to strictly follow any of the diets mentioned. A heart-healthy diet can simply be one that people eat only enough calories to keep a healthy weight, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, use wholegrain breads and pastas, eat omega-3 rich fish, chicken and legumes as primary protein source, eat less red meats, and of course, avoid trans fats and processed foods. Limiting alcohol intake and eating some nuts may help improve the heart-healthy diet, too.

1 comment:

  1. Heart is the most important part of our body and we have to do many things to maintain our heart health. Sometimes our effort works and sometimes not. If you really want to maintain your heart health eat a balance diet with plenty of high fiber foods, do some exercise and try to be happy.
    thanks to share this blog with us.