Including or excluding a single food source or nutrient is not going to make or break a healthy diet. What goes into your meal plate every single day, how you combine different foods to make a meal and what has been your eating habits for the past months are integral. The foods that you eat and the activities that you choose to do in order to lose weight must now impact your cardiovascular health in any way. Based on these criteria experts have come up with a list of the best and worst diet plans for cardiovascular health.
Simply the Best
Any good diet plan must encourage people to pursue them, be appealing yet realistic and above all, work for a lifetime of good health. We brand some plans as the best when they are easy to follow, are based on plant-based foods and have rock-hard evidence for helping people lead a healthier life. The below-given plans surely stick to these criteria and go well on the heart:
Mediterranean Diet: Do you know that people living around the Mediterranean regions suffer from least risk of cardiovascular risks compared to people living elsewhere in the world? Fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, beans and fish form a major portion of the diet while poultry, eggs and dairy are allowed in moderate quantities. This diet promotes the use of olive oil for all its food preparations. It even allows some red wine on your table though it never supports the concept that drinking wine is good for the heart! So, what’s preventing you from choosing this diet plan?
DASH Diet:Designed to accommodate the needs of patients suffering from hypertension this diet has been a major firecracker amongst all groups of people now. This diet promotes the intake of foods high in fiber, vitamins and minerals and discourages the intake of saturated fats, sugars and salt. This diet provides you with every opportunity to eat more of fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, beans, fish and low-fat dairy while recommending the individual to stay away from sweets, red meat and processed foods that are high in salt. The diet has stood the test of time and proved to be a real winner surpassing the tests of physicians/nutritionists/dietitians who are authorities in blood pressure maintenance.
Portfolio Diet: This can even be called as the cholesterol-lowering diet plan as its main focus is to get your LDL levels down. This is a vegetarian diet that includes a portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods. The portfolio diet suggests people to replace meat with tofu, milk with soy milk, include lots of sticky fiber and include nuts too.
Nordic Diet:This diet might even be called as a sister to the Mediterranean diet keeping in mind their very many similarities. Both of these diets allow moderate inclusion of eggs, fish and some amount of dairy but restrict the use of processed foods, meats and sweets. The Nordic diet too encourages the use of fruits, veggies and whole grains emphasizing more on the use of grains such as rye, barley and oats. Use of root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes, fruits such as berries and fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel is profoundly seen. We are well-aware that the Mediterranean diet uses olive oil but here, the use of canola oil is recommended which is also a healthy monounsaturated fat. The special feature of the Nordic diet is the profound consumption of berries. A research by scientists has linked eating berries to reduced risk of heart attack and increased scope of weight loss. Though the Nordic diet isn’t proved to be as successful as the Mediterranean diet for heart health it is definitely one of the healthiest diets that can even aid in weight loss.
Further details about each of the diets are available at www.firsteatright.com and a sample diet plan too helps each of us plan and execute it accurately. Choose any of the above while staying far away from fad diets such as the keto diet, Atkins, low-carb & low-fat diets, the whole 30 diet and Dukan diet.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.