Packing nutrients into your diet will not only improve your appearance, but can also benefit your heart! Therefore, it’s no surprise when diets proven to aid in weight loss and promote good health become very popular, very quickly.
Let’s take a look at three of the most prominent heart-healthy diets and determine which one is the right fit for you.
- The South Beach Diet – The South Beach Diet is the product of cardiologist, Arthur Agatston, and aims to improve heart health by maintaining cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels. By restricting carbohydrates and banning unhealthy fats, the diet may boost heart health in the long run. However, rapid water-weight loss in the beginning weeks of the program may offset your body’s electrolyte balance.
- The Mediterranean Diet – This Greek-inspired plan is great for someone in the healthy weight range wanting to improve heart health. The Mediterranean Diet claims to promote heart and brain health, lower risk of some cancers, and control diabetes. The diet lowers blood pressure and bad cholesterol by emphasizing intake of foods proven to improve health, like fruits, vegetables, and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids.
- The DASH Diet – Last but not least is DASH Diet, or the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension. The plan was developed in 1998 by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, so it’s no surprise the diet quickly became a hit in the medical community. Both the American Heart Association and The American College of Cardiology recommend its focus on more fiber and less sodium. The diet is proven to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, leading to a lower risk of some cancers, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and diabetes.
Ultimately, incorporating elements of each of these popular diets is ideal for a heart-healthy program. The American Heart Association recommends balancing your calorie intake to the amount of daily exercise and choosing foods high in protein, vitamins, and fiber. Also, maintain appropriate blood pressure and cholesterol levels by limiting your intake of sodium, sugars, and saturated fats.
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