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The Best and Worst Diets for Heart Health

American Heart Association: The Best & Worst Diets for Heart Health.

The American Heart Association (AHA) rated ten Best diets based on how well their eating patterns adhere to the organization’s heart-health eating guidelines.

Journal Circulation, refuted myths about restrictive fad diets, which scored the lowest in terms of heart health.

Diet trends such as keto and paleo regimens, which restrict carbs and emphasize protein while ignoring saturated fat, have grown in popularity in recent years. The AHA statement’s authors stated that social media has worsened both diets and disinformation about their health benefits.

“The public population, including many healthcare experts, may be appropriately perplexed about heart-healthy eating, and they may believe they lack the time or experience to evaluate the various diets.

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“We hope that this statement will help clinicians and the general public understand which diets promote good cardiometabolic health,” said Christopher Gardner, PhD, the Rehnborg Farquhar Professor of Medicine at Stanford University in California and one of the experts who drafted the recommendations, in an AHA press release.

What is Cardiometabolic Health, and why is it so important?

Cardiometabolic health refers to the mix of factors that influence metabolism, or how the body breaks down and uses nutrients in food, and how these factors connect to cardiovascular disease, one of the top causes of death in the United States. Blood glucose levels, cholesterol and other lipids, blood pressure, and body weight are among the issues to consider.

“Some diet plans are difficult to maintain over time. It’s better to choose a diet that becomes part of your overall healthy lifestyle, something you can stick with for the rest of your life, rather than jumping from fad diet to fad diet,” says Nicholas Ruthmann, MD, MPH, a staff cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic who was not involved in the new guidelines.

How the AHA Scored the Diets for Heart Health

The researchers scored each of the 10 diets based on how well the recommended eating pattern aligned with features of the AHA’s heart-healthy eating pattern. These include:

  • products, and lean meats.
  • Choosing liquid plant oils (like olive or avocado) over tropical oils (like coconut or palm), animal fats, or partially hydrogenated fats
  • Choosing raw whole meals over ultraprocessed foods.
  • Eating a variety of veggies in large quantities.
  • Consuming entire grains rather than processed ones.
  • Limiting sugary drinks and avoiding alcohol consumption.

The AHA ranked the best and worst diets for heart health, with Tier 1 diets scoring above 85.

  • diets scoring above 85.
  • DASH-style eating plan
  • Mediterranean-style diet.
  • Pescatarian Vegetarian

Tier 2 (Scored 75-85)

  • Vegan diet.
  • Low-fat
  • Tier 3 (Scored 55–74)
  • A very low-fat diet.
  • Low-carb
  • Tier 4 (Scored less than 55)
  • Paleo Diet
  • Keto

Keto and Paleo were Ranked Lowest for Heart Health

Although these ultra low-carb diets advise adherents to eat nonstarchy vegetables, nuts, and seafood while limiting alcohol and added sugar consumption, they are heavy in fat, particularly saturated fat, and low in fiber.

The authors also stated that research has indicated that, while people who follow keto and paleo diets typically lose weight in the first six months of starting the diet, after one year, this benefit was the same as persons who followed less restrictive diets that are easier to adopt for life.

your risk even further. Being overweight or obese, smoking, physical inactivity, and diabetes are all risk factors for heart disease, in addition to a poor diet.

While it is vital to consume some fat — and beneficial fats such as the mono- and polyunsaturated types found in avocados are included in these diets — these eating regimens also encourage the consumption of large amounts of saturated fats and animal protein, which can lead to plaque accumulation in the arteries, according to Ruthmann.

Mong the Best, but with a Caveat

The Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes healthy grains, lean meats, and plenty of vegetables, has long been regarded by the AHA as one of the greatest ways to eat for heart health. In the modified guidelines, the authors highlighted that a few points were subtracted because the diet’s prescription to include moderate alcohol consumption, notably red wine, contradicts the AHA’s recommendation to limit or eliminate alcohol.

“I never recommend drinking wine to actively protect against having a heart attack or stroke,” Ruthmann said. “That said, you really have to look at the whole picture. If you consume a nutritious diet, exercise regularly, and keep your blood pressure and blood sugar under control, I believe a glass of red wine once or twice a week is adequate. “Everything in moderation, of course.”

He does not suggest alcohol to patients who are at a higher risk of developing heart disease or who have previously experienced a cardiac event, such as a heart attack or stroke. Regular alcohol consumption may also hinder weight loss goals.

Ruthmann said “If you’re focused on a diet with hopes for weight loss, wine and most alcohol contain more sugar than you may realize and are full of empty calories, neither of which will help lose and keep that weight off over time.

The DASH Diet Received a Perfect Score

The DASH diet pattern adhered to all of the American Heart Association’s heart-healthy eating guidelines.This diet consists of meals that are low in salt, added sugar, alcohol, tropical oils, and processed foods, but high in nonstarchy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes. Plant-based sources of protein include beans, nuts, and legumes, as well as fish or seafood, lean meat, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products.

The eating pattern is essentially the same as the Mediterranean diet, with the exception of modest alcohol consumption.

AHA Promotes Variety for Long-Term Success and Heart Health

All four dietary patterns that scored on the BEAT level—sprint count calories, Mediterranean calories, pescetarian (eating lean meat but no other meat), and vegetarian diets that include eggs—require individuals to eat a wide range of nutrients. allow, which is fundamental to their health.

Vegan and low-fat diets were ranked second because they lack variety, making them difficult to follow and perhaps leading to vitamin deficiencies. Very low-fat and very low-carb diets were also ranked third, barely ahead of keto and paleo diets, because they restrict crucial items recommended by the AHA guidelines.

Poor-carb diets advise consumers to eliminate fruits, whole grains, and legumes, which leads to poor fiber consumption and potential vitamin deficiencies. While low-fat diets eliminate saturated animal fats, which are harmful to heart health, they can cause vitamin B-12, essential fatty acid, and protein deficiencies, resulting in anemia and muscle weakness, according to the review.

“A more all holistic , plant-based, fish-forward count calories that is portion of a bigger heart-healthy way of life is going to be superior for your heart long term and, really, much simpler to adhere with for life,” Ruthmann said in a statement. “Truly, fair a few months of trend counting calories seem lead to deep rooted negative results for your heart.”

Also Read this: Can High Consumption of Dairy Products Cause Heart Health?

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