‘I’m a cardiologist – here’s my top food for you to eat to help prevent heart disease’ – Express

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When it comes to our hearts, us Brits are not the healthiest. More than seven million people in the UK are thought to be living with cardiovascular disease.

And one in four will die from the condition. It is also a major health problem worldwide, attributing to more than 20 million fatalities every year.

Cardiovascular disease is the name for any conditions that affect the heart or circulatory system. This includes coronary heart disease, which accounts for the most deaths, heart failure and strokes among others.

Although genetics can play a huge role in your heart health, your lifestyle plays a huge role. How often you exercise, whether you smoke and how much alcohol you drink can all affect the heart.

Your diet is also one of the main contributing factors. With this in mind, one expert shared her “top heart healthy food” to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Speaking on TikTok, cardiologist Nicole Harkin revealed that eating nuts could help prevent a number of heart-related issues.

They are a “good source” of healthy fats, plant protein, polyphenols and fibre, she said.

Commenting under her video she said: “Nuts are a nutrient-dense, heart-healthy food that are associated with reductions in risk of heart disease in several major trials.

“They are a good source of heart healthy fats (predominantly monounsaturated fats), fibre, plant protein, and polyphenols.”

According to Nicole, trials have shown that nuts can decrease cholesterol, inflammation and insulin resistance – all factors that can affect the heart.

She referenced a specific study in which participants ate a handful of mixed nuts every day alongside a healthy diet/

“A large randomised trial found that when 30 grams (about one handful) per day of mixed nuts was added to a Mediterranean diet, risk of cardiovascular disease was lowered by 30 percent,” Nicole explained.

This study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2018.

As part of the trial, 7,447 participants who were at high cardiovascular risk were fed one of three diets.

These diets were a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil, a Mediterranean diet supplemented with mixed nuts, or a reduced-fat diet.

They were followed up around five years later. It was concluded that there was a lower incidence of major cardiovascular events among those one the first two diets including the one with added mixed nuts.

Nicole added that almonds and walnuts may offer the best protection for the heart.

“While the evidence is quite strong for almonds and walnuts, some studies have found benefits regardless of the type of nut,” she said.

“Other than those already mentioned, we also love cashews and pistachios in our home. Obviously avoid if nut allergies are an issue.”

To lower your risk of heart disease, the NHS advises:

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • Reducing your saturated fat intake
  • Exercising regularly
  • Quitting smoking
  • Cutting back on alcohol
  • Keeping your blood pressure and diabetes under control.

If you are concerned about your heart health you should speak to your GP.

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned in the title of this site

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