Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Every year in the U.S., about 610,000 people die because of it, meaning that 1 in every 4 deaths is a result of heart disease.
According to the CDC, about 47% of Americans have at least one of the three key risk factors for heart disease – high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking.
Luckily, there are ways to help reduce your risk of heart disease. One of those ways is by eating a healthful plant-based diet.
In an article from Mayo Clinic, studies found that eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains helped to improve participant’s cholesterol levels and weight significantly, diets higher in fruit lowered the risk of developing high blood pressure, eating more fruits and vegetables daily reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease, and that people who ate more vegetables had a smaller risk of chronic heart disease.
Studies done by researchers at New York University School of Medicine and at the Icahn School of Medicine at New York’s Mt. Sinai Hospital also found plant-based diets to have a positive impact on heart health. The study at New York University found that the participants who followed a vegan diet experienced a 20% drop in the concentrations of high sensitivity C-reactive protein, which is an important marker for chronic inflammation, compared to the participants who followed the recommended diet from the American Heart Association, which allowed some lean meat, eggs, and low-fat dairy. Results were similar in the study at Mt. Sinai, finding that those who followed a plant-based diet had a 42% decreased risk for heart failure over the course of the study’s four years, compared to participants who ate fewer plant foods.
The studies are clear, eating a healthful diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is a surefire way to improve your heart health and reduce your risk of the leading cause of death in the United States.