A group of researchers have identified six food groups that we should include in our diets in order to have good cardiovascular health. (getty)
ORa group of researchers identified six food groups that may protect us from heart diseaseand it is quite possible that we do not consume them as often and not in the recommended amounts.
According to the World Health Organization, the world Every minute 34 people die as a result of cardiovascular disease.. Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the world.
For the global study, the results of which were published July 6 in the journal European Journal of CardiologyLed by researchers from McMaster University and its Institute for Population Health Research in Canada, the authors analyzed data from 245,000 people from 80 countries.
RECOMMENDED FOOD GROUPS
At the start, all participants received a score of 1 to 6 based on diet, a parameter that assessed food intake. Six food categories commonly associated with a lower risk of death.
About nine years later, the team re-evaluated the correlation between scores and the risk of cardiovascular disease and death, and came up with startling results: higher diet ratings were associated with a significantly lower risk of deathcardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke.
These are the recommended food groups and amounts that we should be consuming.
Unsurprisingly, fruits (and, of course, vegetables) make this list. The reason is that fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and contain plant-based nutrients such as antioxidants and flavonoids.
Many studies show that consumption of raw and unprocessed fruits is associated with a lower risk of heart attack and stroke. In fact, a very extensive review published in 2006 in The Journal of Nutrition found that each additional daily serving of fruit was correlated with a 7 percent reduction in the incidence of coronary heart disease. And, on the other hand, fruit consumption has been associated with a lower risk of cancer and type 2 diabetes, as well as lower blood pressure.
Despite the above, let’s not forget that fruits can be eaten in excess. This food group is high in natural sugars. Whereas, if we overindulge in consumption, the high fiber content of fruits can cause bloating and diarrhea.
Again, this shouldn’t surprise us because, like fruits, vegetables contain a huge amount of nutrients, but with the advantage of being lower in sugar (and calories) than fruits.
The most studied are green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale; and that’s because these plants have properties that help protect the cardiovascular system.
In 2016, a study was published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases that showed that consumption of green leafy vegetables can reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease by 16 percent.
PULSES ARE ALSO PART OF FOOD GROUPS
We often lump legumes and vegetables into the same category. However, legumes themselves are very important for a healthy diet. These foods, including peas, beans, chickpeas, and lentils, come from legumes; that is, plants whose seeds develop in pods.
In addition to being rich in vitamins and minerals, legumes are an excellent source of protein and plant fiber. Numerous studies have linked legume consumption to a reduced risk of heart disease, as well as lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
In addition, the high fiber and protein content promotes a longer feeling of fullness, which helps to lose weight and control “sweet cravings”.
We generally avoid nuts because of their high calorie content, and when we do eat them, we almost always prefer chocolate-covered or highly processed nuts.
However, it is becoming increasingly clear that nuts are an invaluable source of nutrition as they contain antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats.
Although high in calories, almonds have been shown to promote weight loss; as well as other nuts such as pistachios.
On the other hand, walnuts have also been linked to lower levels of “bad” cholesterol, a very important risk factor for heart disease.
Fish is an excellent source of protein, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids; and many studies have shown a correlation between fish consumption and heart health.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition of more than 40,000 people found that those who ate fish once a week (at least) had a 15 percent lower risk of developing heart disease.
Some researchers believe that higher omega-3 types, such as salmon and sardines, are healthier. Now, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you can get those same fatty acids from some types of microalgae.
When we transition to a healthy diet, many of us opt for low fat milk and low fat yogurt. However, full-fat dairy products may be healthier even if they contain more calories.
A large body of research has linked full-fat dairy intake to a lower risk of heart attack and stroke, which appears to be due to the protective effects of certain specific fatty acids.
SERVING SIZES FOR FOOD GROUPS
However, in the food in question, the main thing is moderate consumption. So what is the recommended serving size for each of these six food groups?
The authors of the global study recommend the following amounts:
Researchers from McMaster University suggest that instead of eating a diet that eliminates fatty and sugary foods, include more of these protective foods (and maybe indulge in pizza or french fries from time to time). And, in short, any food is fuel for the body. No.
(Published in association with Newsweek. Published in association with Newsweek)