Eat your way to a happy heart and live longer with simple changes in your diet

February 10, 2019 10:30 AM Agencies


Almost 200,000 people a year are dying from heart attacks or strokes

Changing your diet is one of the best ways to show your heart some love – and live longer.

Almost 200,000 people a year are dying from heart attacks or strokes, yet 80per cent of these deaths could be prevented in the under 75s.

Every year, more than 180,000 Brits have a heart attack – that is one person every three minutes – while 100,000 suffer a stroke.

Dr Laura Corr, a cardiologist with 25 years of experience, ­recommends lowering your risk with a Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, fruits, ­wholegrains, fish, nuts and olive oils.

Here, she gives her top tips for a heart-healthy diet.

Heavy on the veg

Research suggests ten servings of fruit and ­vegetables a day lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease by ­almost a third.

Dr Corr recommends starting with the UK recommendation of five and then building your diet up from there.

“Fruit and vegetables provide fibre, vitamins and ­antioxidants that may benefit heart health directly,” she says.

“Prioritise vegetables over fruit, as fruit is bred to be very sweet these days.”

Balance meat with fish

Too much red meat is bad for the heart and can even lead to blood clotting, whereas oily fish helps clear arteries.

“My rule of thumb is to have meat only a couple of times a week and to match this with two to three servings of fish or ­shellfish, including some oily fish, such as sardines, salmon, ­mackerel or tuna,” says Dr Corr.

“Oily fish provides the healthy omega-3 fats that help blood flow through arteries better.”

Here, she gives her top tips for a heart-healthy diet.

Stick with Eggs and milk

A study of 130,000 people found those who ate two or more daily servings of milk or yogurt – ­including full-fat versions – had a 22per cent lower risk of heart disease, 34 per cent lower risk of stroke, and 23 per cent ­lower risk of dying from heart disease.

“Eating up to two eggs a day is fine,” Dr Corr says.

“Dairy ­products, rich in ­calcium and potassium, seem good for hearts in moderation.”

 


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