We are now entering the third month of 2017: how is that diet you promised you would undertake? Eating healthier is one of the top three New Year’s Resolutions Americans make every year; of course, many people fail to adhere to the changes. A new study, though, suggests that maybe this is a good thing, especially if you were attempting to lose weight or improve your general health by adopting one of those fad diets.
Specific, “trendy” diets are becoming more and more popular in this country, as Americans try to find quick and easy solutions to losing weight and having more energy. From juicing (and cleanses) to [unnecessary] gluten-free purging, doctors are now stressing the importance of examining that a dietary shift can have on your heart.
That is important. After all, while fat and cholesterol can come and go, your heart is the most important organ that requires care; and we often overlook it when we think about our health. As such, researchers looked which diets could be the most heart-healthy, examining 25 peer-reviewed studies and then publishing their review in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The studies included data from tens of thousands of participants.
Dr. Andrew Freeman is the Director of Cardiovascular Prevention and Wellness at Denver, Colorado’s National Jewish Health. He comments, “There is sort of mass confusion about what foods are healthy or not healthy.”
The lead author goes on to say, “When you take the time to weigh through the data and the evidence it becomes clear. Human beings haven’t changed all that much in the last many, many years.”
The in-depth review found that the most heart-healthy diet will be one that incorporates extra-virgin olive oil, leafy green vegetables, nuts (in moderation), antioxidant-rich berries, and mostly plant-based proteins (with a few lean meats, sparingly, if you wish). To cut down on cholesterol (if that is important to you), the researchers suggest also cutting out coconut and palm oils—both of which are high in saturated fatty acids—as well as eggs, since they can increase cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.
If this sounds familiar that’s because, as Freeman says, “Dietary requirements haven’t really changed.” He adds, “The diet that is most cardioprotective is mostly plant based … predominantly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and limited amounts of animal products if any.”