In the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, the risk factors associated with eating play an essential role in their development.
Although you surely know that eating certain foods can increase the risk of heart disease, is often difficult to change eating habits. Here are some tips to follow a diet for cardiovascular health.
Knowing what foods you can eat in larger quantities and which ones you should limit, you will be on the way to a heart-healthy diet.
The Mediterranean diet is considered to be the most cardio-healthy, that is, the one that best helps prevent cardiovascular diseases. This diet is characterized by a high content of fruits, vegetables, bluefish, legumes, nuts, and olive oil.
What are cardiovascular diseases?
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels, including:
- Coronary cardiopathy
- Cerebrovascular diseases
- Peripheral arteries
- Rheumatic heart disease
- Congenital heart disease
- Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism
Heart attacks and strokes (CVA) are usually phenomena that are due to obstructions that prevent blood from flowing to the heart or brain. The most frequent cause is the formation of deposits of fat in the walls of the blood vessels that supply these organs.
These diseases usually have their cause in the presence of a combination of risk factors, such as smoking, unhealthy diets and obesity, physical inactivity, harmful alcohol consumption, high blood pressure, diabetes and hyperlipidemia.
Why should we take care of our diet
There are many factors that are involved in cardiovascular health. The sedentary lifestyle or the consumption of alcohol and tobacco have strong negative repercussions that can be devastating. The same goes for nutrition, which turns out to be a key piece to avoid the risk of these diseases.
According to data from the World Health Organization : ” It is estimated that in 2012 17.5 million people died, which represents 31% of all deaths in the world. Of these deaths, 7.4 million were due to coronary heart disease and 6.7 million to stroke. ”
Diet to improve cardiovascular health
Walnuts are a classically of cardiovascular health. Its consumption helps us reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This is due to its high content of omega-3 and its phytosterols, being a substance that is quite useful to reduce blood cholesterol levels.
Extra virgin olive oil
This is one of the essential cardiovascular health foods essential in Mediterranean cuisine, so it is convenient that we consume it every day. Thanks to its content in monounsaturated fats it helps to decrease the bad cholesterol and, in addition, to raise the good.
On the other hand, its contribution to vitamin E also serves as an antioxidant to prevent oxidative damage, one of the factors that affect atherosclerosis and damage to blood vessels.
They are a good contribution of high-quality vegetable proteins and, thanks to their low-fat content, they are a fundamental food in any diet to reduce blood cholesterol.
According to recent studies, people who eat legume daily have up to 22% less risk of heart disease with respect to low consumers of this food.
This is one of the superfoods that cannot be missed in your diet. Not only is it believed that it could help prevent various types of cancer, but it is also good for the health of your heart.
But, in addition, broccoli contains zinc, iron, folic acid, vitamin K, calcium and antioxidants, providing extra protection against the risk of cardiovascular accidents.
Take fruits and vegetables every day
It is recommended to consume, at least, three pieces of fruit and vegetables per day but no more than one daily juice. It has a less satiating effect and does not have the same nutritional properties as the whole piece. You also have to avoid precooked or packaged vegetables, as they usually have a high content of preservatives.
Limit the intake of unhealthy fats
Limiting the amount of saturated fat and trans fat you eat is an important step. In this way, we contribute to reduce blood cholesterol and decrease your risk of having diseases of the arteries.
A high blood cholesterol level can cause a buildup of fat in the arteries, called “atherosclerosis,” which can increase your risk of having a heart attack and stroke.
Choose whole grains
Whole grains are a good source of fiber and other nutrients that play an important role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. To increase the number of whole grains in a heart-healthy diet, substitute refined grain products.
Choose low-fat protein sources
Choose the options with less fat, such as skim milk instead of whole milk and skinless chicken breasts instead of frying.
Fish is another excellent alternative to replace high-fat meats. Certain types of fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have a positive cardiovascular effect. The fish with the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids are those with cold water, such as salmon, mackerel and herring.
Finally, remember that in addition to food, perform daily physical activity and avoid bad habits also play a key role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.