Top Heart Healthy Diets, Pt 1

As the onslaught of diet ads on television have emphatically reminded us, this is the time of year when many of us have made a determination to do something about weight gain.

But it’s not only important to merely shed pounds, but to find a meal plan that includes nutritionally dense foods that will fuel our bodies efficiently throughout the day.

US News and World Report just published a ranked list of the best heart healthy diets as of January 31, 2017:

  • The DASH diet: Originally designed to lower blood pressure, the DASH diet is also good for lowering cholesterol and for managing and preventing diabetes. The DASH diet has topped the US News and World Report’s list of best diets for the 5th year in a row.
  • The Ornish Diet: Tied for first place with the DASH diet, the Ornish diet is one of the most rigorous diets out there. It can also be tailored to any of of the following: lowering cholesterol, reducing breast and prostate cancer risk, managing diabetes and lowering blood pressure.
  • The TLC Diet: In this case, TLC stands for “Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes.” The plan was designed to specifically lower blood pressure and many doctors recommend it if their patients are on cholesterol lowering medication – the diet, along with exercise and quitting smoking, will actually help the medication perform better.
  • The Mediterranean Diet: This diet was named for the diets of people living in Italy and Greece in 1960. Numerous studies showed that those who at the way the Italians and Greeks did back then had less occurrences of stroke, heart attack, type 2 diabetes, and premature death. A major portion of the diet includes, fruits, vegetables, olive oil, nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, rice and other grains, pasta and bread. Fish is recommended at least 2 times a week, while meets and sweets are limited.
  • The MIND Diet – The Mind diet is actually a combination of the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet; in addition to lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, those who follow the diet have a 53% reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s. The diet puts a strong emphasis on ten foods: leafy greens, vegetables, nuts, berries beans, whole grains fish, poultry, olive oil and red wine.

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