Heart-Healthy Foods: What’s True, What’s False, and What We Just Don’t Know
It seems as though every day you read something new about the health properties of a specific food. The problem is that every day the verdict changes. Caffeine: is it good for your heart or bad for your heart? What about dairy products? Another day, another opinion.
In an effort to make sense of the health value of various foods, the American College of Cardiology’s Nutrition and Lifestyle Workgroup conducted a meta-analysis of nutritional studies. Their goal: to determine the scientific consensus about a variety of foods that have received contradictory recommendations.
The results, which appeared in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, focused on heart health. Here are the verdicts:
Foods that are Guilty
The meta-analysis found scientific evidence of harm from these foods, and recommend limiting or avoiding them:
Added Sugars were found to promote atherosclerosis and increase cardiovascular risk.
Energy Drinks were found to increase blood pressure and risk of arrhythmias.
Foods that are Innocent
The meta-analysis found scientific evidence of benefit from these foods, and recommend partaking of them:
Legumes are a heart healthy source of protein and fiber.
Coffee in moderation reduces the risk of stroke, diabetes, and digestive diseases.
Tea improves the health of arteries, reverses dysfunction of blood vessels, and reduces cholesterol.
Mushrooms are beneficial because of their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Alcohol in moderation has anti-inflammatory and vasodilatory properties.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids, whether plant-based or marine-based, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Vitamin B12 should be supplemented in people who are deficient.
Foods for which the Jury is still out
Dairy Products are a source of minerals and vitamins, but also of saturated fat and salt.
Fermented Foods and Seaweed have not been studied well enough to provide definitive evidence, although it seems that they improve risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
At Atlantic Coast Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Lakewood, NJ, we know how important it is to serve food that is both nutritious and delicious. We employ a master chef and the staff of culinary experts to prepare meals to please the most discerning palates, and serve them on fine China. Our registered dietitian ensures that meals are tailored to the resident’s individual dietary restrictions and requirements.
Read our reviews on senioradvisor.com, caring.com, and wellness.com to hear what our residents and their families have to say.
Or better yet, come see for yourself: Contact us to schedule a tour by calling 732-364-7100, or by clicking here.
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