A good measure of how long a person will live is the diet they follow on a regular basis. This is because eating food packed with nutritional value can significantly reduce a person’s risk of developing heart disease – one of the major causes of death both in the UK and worldwide. The good news is, making simple changes to one’s diet can offer a robust defence against the deadly complication. Mounting evidence suggests eating certain snacks.
Studies have also shown that berries can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol
Here are three snacks shown to promote good heart health.
Berries are packed with nutritional value that promote heart health.
Research suggests the answer may partly lie in antioxidants found in berries called anthocyanins, which protect against the oxidative stress and inflammation that contribute to the development of heart disease.
Studies have also shown that berries can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol – a deadly precursor to heart disease.
One study in 27 adults with metabolic syndrome showed that consuming a drink made of freeze-dried strawberries for eight weeks decreased “bad” LDL cholesterol by 11 percent.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of risk factors that can lead to heart disease.
In addition, an 18-year study conducted by led by Dr. Eric Rimm, associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School, found that women who ate the most strawberries and blueberries were 34 percent less likely to have suffered a heart attack than women who ate the least of these fruits.
Research suggests that eating almonds can also have a significant effect on a person’s cholesterol levels.
One study in 48 people with high cholesterol showed that eating 1.5 ounces (43 grams) of almonds daily for six weeks reduced belly fat and levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol – major risk factors for heart disease.
Another small study echoed these results, reporting that eating almonds for four weeks resulted in significant decreases in both LDL and total cholesterol.
In addition, research also shows that eating almonds may boost levels of HDL cholesterol.
HDL cholesterol is known as the “good” cholesterol because it helps remove other forms of cholesterol from a person’s bloodstream.
Surprisingly, eating dark chocolate may also offer protection against heart disease.
The health benefits are derived from flavonoids, a natural substance found in chocolate that is related to a lower risk of mortality from coronary heart disease.
One large study showed that those who ate chocolate at least five times per week had a 57 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease than non-chocolate eaters.
Another study found that eating chocolate at least twice per week was associated with a 32 percent lower risk of having calcified plaque in the arteries.
Research suggests that the calcified buildup of plaque in the arteries is the strongest predictor of a heart attack.
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