Best Heart-Healthy Diets
Being overweight is just one factor that puts people at risk for heart disease and stroke. A heart-healthy diet can help you lose weight or lower cholesterol, blood pressure, or triglycerides. According to experts who rated the 29 diets below, the Ornish Diet is the most heart-healthy.
Dieters are sure to do their heart a favor on the Ornish diet, according to experts, and if they use a rigorous version of the plan they could actually reverse heart disease. But the balanced, sound menu promotes heart health only if—experts emphasized if—the diet’s rules are followed.
The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension program, or DASH, was devised to help control high blood pressure, and its effects on that marker of cardiovascular health have been extensively studied. So it’s no surprise that experts regarded it as a good diet for the heart.
Lots of research has validated the Mediterranean diet’s ability to prevent cardiovascular disease because of its emphasis on produce, monounsaturated fats, and protein from fish, with only a small amount from red meat.
The Flexitarian diet earned an above-average score, which means it has the potential to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. Research suggests that eating patterns heavy on fruits, veggies, and whole grains help promote healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
The Anti-Inflammatory diet, which is based on the heart-healthy principles of the Mediterranean diet, earned an above-average 3.6 stars. It emphasizes the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in oily fish and have been linked to a lowered risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
Experts saw the Mayo Clinic Diet as a sound option for preventing or controlling heart problems. Its focus is on coaching dieters to develop healthy, lasting habits around which foods they choose to eat and which to avoid.
A vegetarian diet has the potential to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to experts, as long as vegetarians don’t load up on full-fat dairy and processed foods. It’s a good bet for heart-conscious dieters, especially those who don’t have the heart to eat animals anyway.