Way for a healthy heart is through a healthy stomach

A sound and nutritious eating routine is your best weapon in maintaining a healthy heart; regardless of whether you're experiencing a heart condition or not. You'll be surprised how supplement-rich and fibre-rich diet can provide you the vitality to carry on a full life.

Increasingly, research and guidelines have been recognising what many of us suspected all along. It is what you do, day-in and day-out, that matters most for heart health. It is the pattern of eating – the combination of foods, chosen regularly, over time – that is most important. Not just one food or one nutrient.

There are traditional eating patterns, like those of people living in the Mediterranean or on the Japanese island of Okinawa, that are linked to longevity. And research-based eating patterns, like the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (thankfully shortened to DASH) and Portfolio diets, that are associated with better measures of blood pressure and cholesterol in clinical studies. It’s important to note that these different eating patterns cover a wide range of nutrient intakes – some are higher or lower in carbohydrates, some are higher or lower in fat, some encourage wine, some don’t.

The dietary patterns reviewed by Adjunct Professor John Kelly, Heart Foundation included Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and the cholesterol-lowering Portfolio diet, as well as low-carbohydrate, vegetarian, calorie-restricted, Mediterranean , Nordic , Low GI, and high-protein diets. The review found that the dietary patterns with the best cardiovascular health outcomes have commonalities such as fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, nuts and seeds, lean meats, reduced-fat dairy and healthy fats.

*Source: Heart Foundation 2017.10.16; Forget the fads! Best diets shape heart health advice; Adjunct Professor John Kelly, AM

Read next

Don’t give up on your favourite meal, make it healthier