What are the Magnificent Six?
Researchers have identified six foods that might be your heart’s best friends: fruits, vegetables, legumes (like beans and lentils), nuts, fish, and whole dairy.
Not getting enough of these six foods in your diet could increase your risk of heart disease, according to a new study from McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences.
But don’t worry, you can still eat moderate amounts of whole grains and unprocessed meat and keep your heart in good shape!
Why this study stands out
Most research to date has focused primarily on Western diets, which often include both good and bad foods. This new study takes a global look.
According to the World Health Organization, heart disease is a global problem that killed nearly 18 million people in 2019 alone. That’s about a third of all deaths worldwide.
The study examined the eating habits of 245,000 people from 80 different countries and published its findings in the European Heart Journal.
The researchers used information from an ongoing global study called the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological (PURE) Study.
They also compared their findings to five other studies to ensure their findings apply to people everywhere, whether or not they have a history of heart disease.
Unlike other diet plans that mix good and bad foods, the PURE Healthy Diet Score focuses only on natural foods that are good for you.
Balance is key: here is your meal plan
How can you best use this information in your daily life? The study suggests that you should try to eat two to three servings of fruit and the same amount of vegetables every day.
To do this, add one serving of nuts and two servings of dairy products. Aim to eat three to four servings of legumes and two to three servings of fish during the week.
If you wish, you can also add one serving of whole grains and one serving of unprocessed red meat or poultry daily.
In other words, a balanced diet featuring these “wonderful six” foods, with some room for other heart-friendly options, can help keep your heart healthy and reduce your risk of disease.
So go ahead and add these groceries to your shopping list. Your heart will thank you!
If you care about your heart’s health, read studies about taking this drug at night, which may increase your risk of heart damage, and insights into a sweet solution to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
For more information on heart disease, see the recent studies on common painkillers that may increase heart disease risk and the results showing that the statin alternative lowers heart disease risk and cholesterol levels.
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