Health

The Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet for Heart Health

In the United States, cardiovascular disease claims a life every 34 seconds. In 2020 alone, 1 in 5 deaths in the U.S. was due to heart disease. With such high fatality rates, it’s no wonder heart disease is the country’s leading cause of death.

The good news is that 80% of cardiovascular diseases are preventable. Healthy eating, such as following the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet), is one way to do that.

But what exactly are the benefits of the Mediterranean diet for heart health?

Keep reading, and we’ll tell you all about them below.

Plant-Based Diet for Weight Control

According to a new study, extra pounds can injure the heart muscle. As a result, it can cause heart failure, in which the heart can no longer pump blood efficiently. The risk is highest in people with obesity, but even those slightly overweight are also in danger.

Moreover, according to Heartfailurematters.org, heart failure can cause further weight gain.

The good news is that the Mediterranean diet can be an effective tool for weight control. For one, it focuses on plant-based foods, including whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Legumes, seeds, nuts, herbs, and spices also build the diet’s foundation.

At the same time, MedDiet limits added sugars, salt, and highly-processed foods. Such foods can cause weight gain and an increased heart disease risk, so you’d want to reduce their intake.

Uses Fats That Benefit the Heart

Some people who hear the term “fat” automatically think of greasy, heart-stopping substances. However, they’re not all unhealthy; monounsaturated fats, for instance, can be beneficial. They help lower bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) levels.

One of the best sources of monounsaturated fats is olive oil, which, in turn, is the primary fat used in MedDiet. Nuts and seeds standard in the diet also contain these healthy fats.

Fatty fish, another staple Mediterranean diet ingredient, is also rich in healthy fats. It includes salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, and herring, containing omega-3 fatty acids. They’re a type of polyunsaturated fat that help combat inflammation.

Umami-Packed Ingredients With Heart Benefits

Who said healthy diets have to be bland, boring, and tasteless? While that may apply to many fad diets, the Mediterranean diet isn’t one of them.

On the contrary, MedDiet incorporates herbs and spices, making each meal a delight. These include garlic, basil, cumin, oregano, cloves, and bay leaf, to name a few. All those named ingredients, in turn, are heart-healthy, according to Cleveland Clinic.

Garlic, for instance, can help keep the blood vessels flexible. It can also help bring cholesterol and triglyceride levels under control.

Cholesterol and triglyceride levels are factors in arterial disease. For instance, they contribute to the hardening or thickening of the arteries. Over time, that results in increased heart disease and heart attack risk.

Consider the Mediterranean Diet for Heart Health

And there you have it, the top benefits of the Mediterranean diet for heart health. Now you know it can help with weight loss, lower bad cholesterol, and fight inflammation.

Besides, MedDiet dishes are always tasty and never bland. So, why not consider adding this heart-healthy diet to your daily regimen as soon as today?

Are you ready for more exciting and informative guides like this? Check out our latest blog updates, then!

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