If you’re currently taking medications for cardiovascular health and think that’s all you need to do to turn your health around, a new study reports that a healthier diet may also help prevent further heart health incidents. While it’s important to follow the advice of your physician and continue taking your heart health medications as directed, the study shows that it’s also important to revamp the current lifestyle that got you into the predicament in the first place. A healthier diet plays a big role in that change.
Heart-Friendly Diet Reduces Cardiovascular Risk
The study, published in the journal, Circulation, followed 32,000 people from 40 countries over the course of five years. The participants had an average age of 66.5 years old and all of them were currently enrolled in other clinical trials because of prior history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Eating habits were tracked with a food frequency questionnaire consisting of 20 food items. Over the course of the study, about 5,000 cardiovascular events occurred. However, it was found that participants who stuck to a heart-healthy diet had a lower risk of succumbing to cardiovascular events.
Eat More Fruit, Vegetables, Grains, and Nuts
Based on research results, people who consumed more fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts, and fish fared better in reducing their cardiovascular risks than those who relied on medications alone. American participants who adhered to current U.S. daily guidelines of four servings of fruit; five servings of vegetables; one serving of nuts or soy protein; and three or more servings of whole grains were among those at lower risk. The source of protein seemed to matter, too, as fish was more preferable to meat, poultry, or eggs. Older adults stuck to these guidelines more closely as they appeared to be more concerned with their health after the occurrence of previous cardio health events.
Make Your Lifestyle Work for You
Whether you have poor heart health or not, it’s always a good idea to adopt healthier habits, including eating a better diet, exercising regularly, and managing a healthy weight. If you haven’t already done so, switch up your diet to include more balanced servings of nutritious foods so that you’ll have one less thing to worry about.
- Winters C. Diet Helps Prevent Repeat Heart Attacks. Live Science. https://www.livescience.com/25217-diet-helps-prevent-repeat-heart-attacks.html
- Dooren JC. Diet's Role in Lowering Risk of Repeat Heart Attacks. The Wall Street Journal. https://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323401904578157410574243702.html