How a Plant-Based Diet Can Improve Your Heart Health
Switching to a plant-based diet doesn’t mean you have to go full vegan, although doing so would be quite beneficial. A plant-based diet that includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains can have an incredible impact on your health, especially on your heart. In this article, we focus on the many benefits of a plant-based diet and how it can decrease your chances of developing adverse health conditions. By eating right and staying active, you can live life to the fullest. If you’re interested in discovering how these lifestyle changes could revolutionize your life, seek a cardiologist who will work with you to develop a personalized action plan. Schedule a consultation with Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC, one of the best Tampa Bay cardiac specialists.
Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
By eating a plant-based diet and reducing your red meat intake, you are taking steps to improve your cholesterol, blood pressure, and gastrointestinal health while reducing your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, heart disease, stroke, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
An in-depth study conducted by Harvard Health followed 110,000 participants for 14 years and uncovered overwhelmingly positive findings. “The higher the average daily intake of fruits and vegetables, the lower the chances of developing cardiovascular disease.” Combined findings from several long-term studies concluded that those who “ate more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day had roughly a 20% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, compared with individuals who ate less than 3 servings per day.”
What Makes Up a Healthy Plant-Based Diet?
A plant-based diet consists of consuming plant-based foods while limiting the consumption of animal products, such as red meats, milk, and cheese. The goal is to replace a diet that’s rich in sugar, carbs, and fats with one that is bursting with vitamins, minerals, and healthy oils. You don’t have to quit eating your favorite foods cold turkey, but by eating more fruits and vegetables, you are improving your heart health and lowering your risk of developing heart disease and other complications.
Your Own Plant-Based Diet
Switching to a plant-based diet doesn’t mean giving up on the foods you love. For those of you who are fitness oriented or are adamant about having protein in your diet, there are plenty of protein-rich plant-based foods. For example, beans, legumes, asparagus, and broccoli are packed with protein and can fill you up minus the cholesterol and saturated fats that you should be avoiding. Even fish and lean poultry can be added to a plant-based diet, similar to a pescatarian diet. It all depends on your unique needs and goals.
Dr. Popat is an advocate for the plant-based diet. Whether you want to be a vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian, he and his team of Tampa cardiac specialists can work to develop a diet and exercise plan that’s right for you. And as always, Dr. Popat will be monitoring your heart every step of the way to ensure that your health is put first. If you’re considering a plant-based diet and want to take steps to avoid heart disease, schedule a consultation with Dr. Popat today.
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