Finding the right plant-based diet for heart health means finding the right diet for you. Learn about the benefits of plant-based diets.
While plant-based diets are typically associated with lower heart disease risks, you have to find the diet that works for you. “For heart health protection, your diet needs to focus on the quality of plant foods, and it’s possible to benefit by reducing your consumption of animal foods without completely eliminating them from your diet,” says Dr. Ambika Satija of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Choosing What Works
Some of the most studied diets for heart health include the DASH diet, the Mediterranean diet, and the MIND diet. While all plant-based diets emphasize foods that provide heart benefits, it’s important to note that not all plant-based food is beneficial for your health.
For example, both white rice and white bread are plant-based foods, but they don’t provide many heart-healthy nutrients. Likewise, there are other plant-based foods that are highly processed and don’t provide heart benefits like sugary juice drinks and canned plant foods. So what does a healthy plant-based meal look like? It should consist of a good portion of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy proteins, and water.
Plant-Based and Animal-Derived Foods
If your goal is to improve your health, you may not have to take all animal foods off the table. According to a July 25, 2017 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, reducing animal foods may not lead to a healthier diet if you eat less healthy plant foods. Another study suggests that three times per week, eating 3 ounces of unprocessed red meat may not make your blood pressure and cholesterol worse.
Another factor that you may not be considering is your breakfast and the food you eat in the morning. According to a study in the October 10, 2017 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, beginning your day with a hearty and healthy breakfast may lower your risk for atherosclerosis.
So how do you choose the plant-based diet for you? Start by focusing on eating the right plant-based foods and avoiding the less healthy ones. You also don’t need to make a drastic change. “For many men, this may be a matter of switching out their current foods,” says Dr. Satija. “A moderate change in your diet, such as lowering your animal food intake by one to two servings per day and replacing it with legumes or nuts as your protein source, can have a lasting positive impact on your health.”
In addition to your diet, you can take supplements like HeartBeet Complete for an extra boost. Its ingredients promote circulation, energy levels, blood pressure health, and more. If you’re ready to support your heart health, gradually switch to a plant-based diet and take HeartBeet Complete.