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Recent study reveals the very best diets for a healthy heart

Recent study reveals the very best diets for a healthy heart

In a recent study published within the journal Vascular Health and Risk Management, researchers discuss the varied non-traditional and traditional practices, in addition to the socioeconomic and food insecurity-related limitations related to adopting diets for heart health.

Study: A Heart-Healthy Weight-reduction plan for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: Where Are We Now? Image Credit: Recent Africa / Shutterstock.com


Despite considerable progress in medicine and dietary interventions which have improved cardiovascular health, heart problems stays probably the most prevalent causes of mortality in america.

Early studies on the association between weight loss program and cardiovascular health reported that a weight loss program wealthy in fish, vegetables, grains, fruits, and beans was linked to a lower rate of myocardial infarctions. Furthermore, the consumption of vegetables and fruits, together with regular exercise, was related to 40% lower rates of myocardial infarction.

Hypertension, excess abdominal fat, dyslipidemia, and sort 2 diabetes are among the risk aspects for cardiometabolic diseases that may be modified through changes within the weight loss program. Within the U.S., the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, and obesity have been on the rise, thus increasing the danger of cardiovascular diseases. Abdominal waist circumference has also change into a heart problems marker.

Growing scientific evidence indicates that the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), Mediterranean, and other largely plant-based diets are related to cardioprotective properties and the power to change the gut microbiome.

Heart healthy diets

The Mediterranean weight loss program comprises fruits, leafy green vegetables, nuts, legumes, spices, herbs, lean meat akin to fish and poultry, in addition to extra virgin olive oil. Moreover, this weight loss program recommends moderate consumption of alcohol, in addition to limited sweets and pork intake. The Mediterranean weight loss program eliminates processed or refined sugars and grains, saturated fats, and enormous amounts of pork.

The Mediterranean weight loss program has been found to cut back inflammation, alter the gut microbiome, modulate the expression of pro-atherogenic genes, and improve lipid profiles. In individuals genetically prone to cardiometabolic diseases, the Mediterranean weight loss program was found to cut back the opposed phenotypes related to cardiometabolic health and reduce the expression of pro-atherothrombotic genes.

The DASH weight loss program primarily consists of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, poultry, low-fat dairy products, seeds, and nuts. Similarly, this weight loss program recommends avoiding sugar-sweetened beverages, fatty meats, and full-fat dairy products.

The DASH weight loss program also recommends that every day salt consumption be maintained under 2,300 mg. Notably, this weight loss program has been related to significantly lower blood pressure levels in patients with hypertension, in addition to a reduced risk of diabetes, heart failure, and heart problems.

Healthy plant-based diets, including vegetarian and vegan diets, predominantly include plant products. Nonetheless, subsets of those diets include lacto-vegetarians, lacto-ovo-vegetarians, pescatarians, and semi-vegetarians, who, together with plant-based foods, also eat various mixtures of dairy products, eggs, or fish.

Although healthy plant-based diets give attention to the consumption of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and nuts, most subsets don’t strictly recommend a lower consumption of salt, fats, or sugars, which could reduce the cardioprotective effects of the weight loss program.

Controversial or emerging diets

The ketogenic weight loss program comprises a high intake of fats, moderate protein intake, and really low consumption of carbohydrates.

The ketogenic weight loss program has successfully helped people drop some pounds, in addition to improve their glycemic control and insulin resistance. Nonetheless, a high-fat weight loss program can increase the degrees of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), total cholesterol, triglycerides, total apolipoprotein B, and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, all of that are linked to an increased risk of heart problems.

Intermittent fasting is one other emerging dietary pattern that recommends prolonged periods of fasting to activate ketosis. While intermittent fasting has shown promise as an approach to weight reduction, long-term studies on the impact of intermittent fasting on cardiovascular health are lacking. Moreover, no clinically significant reductions in the danger aspects related to cardiometabolic health have been observed.

Cardiovascular health and the gut microbiome

Emerging research indicates that pre- and pro-biotics alter the gut microbiome with potential impacts on cardiovascular health. The usage of probiotics has been linked to a light decrease in blood glucose levels and blood pressure, while high-fiber diets have been related to a rise in gut microbiome diversity and a lower risk of heart problems and hypertension.

Challenges in adopting heart-healthy diets

Cultural and social aspects, in addition to socioeconomic status, are generally related to incompatibility to adhering to a heart-healthy weight loss program. Social barriers prevent ethnic and gender-related minorities, in addition to underserved populations, from accessing heart-healthy diets, which leads to the next incidence of heart problems and mortality amongst these populations.

Food insecurity, a scarcity of grocery stores that provide fresh produce, and the surplus availability of poor-quality ultra-processed foods also contribute to increased obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Some studies have reported that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic exacerbated food insecurity among the many lower socioeconomic classes, thereby leading to a rise within the consumption of cheaper, highly processed meats and sugar-sweetened beverages.


The present study suggests that the Mediterranean weight loss program provides essentially the most cardioprotective effects, with the DASH and healthy plant-based diets with low salt and sugar content also considered heart-healthy. The impact of certain diets, akin to the ketogenic weight loss program and intermittent fasting on cardiovascular health stays controversial or unclear.

Journal reference:

  • Diab, A., Dastmalchi, L. N., Gulati, M., & Michos, E. D. (2023). A Heart-Healthy Weight-reduction plan for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: Where Are We Now?. Vascular Health and Risk Management 19:237-253. doi:10.2147/VHRM.S379874


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