Single ‘most important’ dietary tip to reduce risk of heart disease – doctor issues advice

This Morning: Dr Chris discusses heart disease

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Coronary heart disease is a major cause of death in the UK and worldwide, claiming millions of lives each year. The term describes what happens when your heart’s blood supply is blocked or interrupted by a build-up of fatty substances in the coronary arteries. Fortunately, “80 percent of heart disease is because of environment and lifestyle”, according to consultant cardiologist Doctor Aseem Malhotra. 

Speaking on GB News, Doctor Malhotra said eating “real food” is the “most important” dietary tip to reduce risk of heart disease.

To explain what he meant by real food, he contrasted it to over-processed food.

“If it comes out of a packet and has five or more ingredients – we call that over-processed.”

According to Doctor Malhotra, following a mediterranean diet is a great way to get plenty of unprocessed food into your diet.

A Mediterranean-sryle diet encourages the consumption of unprocessed foods such as fruits, fish, legumes, nuts, poultry, vegetables, and whole grains.

You can make your diet more Mediterranean-style by:

  • Eating plenty of starchy foods, such as bread and pasta
  • Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • Including fish in your diet
  • Eating less meat
  • Choosing products made from vegetable and plant oils, such as olive oil.

Doctor Malhotra’s recommendation is supported by extensive evidence.

The Mediterranean diet has been linked with good health, including a healthier heart.

A comprehensive review of the existing literature on the subject was published in the journal Circulation Research.

Researchers critically assessed the five most comprehensive meta-analyses published between 2014 and 2018 and additional studies not included in these meta-analyses.

“The available evidence is large, strong, and consistent,” they concluded.

“Better conformity with the traditional MedDiet [Mediterranean diet] is associated with better cardiovascular health outcomes, including clinically meaningful reductions in rates of coronary heart disease, ischemic stroke, and total cardiovascular disease.”

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