How to Eat Healthy to Keep Your Heart Healthy

Omega 3 fatty acids help improve your lipid provide and reduce the risk of cardiovascular illness. At the same time, there are others foods that help keep your heart healthy. We'll tell you more in the article to follow.
How to Eat Healthy to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Saúl Sánchez Arias

Written and verified by the nutritionist Saúl Sánchez Arias.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

It’s no secret that eating healthy helps to keep your heart healthy. In fact, when it comes to preventing and treating heart disease, making certain adjustments in your diets is fundamental…especially if you’re currently consuming a large amount of unhealthy food.

Currently, doctors are questioning the importance of total cholesterol when it comes to predicting cardiovascular risk. However, they’re certain about the fact that an abundant intake of fresh foods can reduce the probabilities of heart failure.

So, what should you eat in order to keep your heart healthy?

We’ll you everything you need to know here.

Why does eating healthy help keep your heart healthy?

There is an abundance of studies that associate the consumption of healthy foods with heart health. For example, a study in Current Cardiology Reports emphasizes the role of a healthy diet in reducing the risk of heart disease. More specifically, the researchers point out the importance of proper intake of nutrients such as the following:

  • Fiber
  • Complex carbohydrates
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Phytochemicals

These substances, which we obtain from vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, fruits, and other healthy sources, help prevent an increase in cholesterol and triglycerides. What’s more, they have shown to have positive effects when it comes to the prevention of hypertension, cerebral vascular accidents, heart attacks, and other heart diseases.

A healthy heart.
A diet rich in fresh foods has proven to be beneficial in heart health.

Eat healthy in order to take care of your heart

There are many risk factors related to heart disease. While some of these are unmodifiable–like age and genetics–others are more under our control. For example, what and how we eat.

With that in mind, we’ll suggest a few strategies for keeping your heart healthy through nutrition.

Increase your intake of omega 3 in order to protect your heart

The consumption of fatty acids is essential when it comes to reducing cardiovascular risk and improving your lipid profile. However, their most remarkable effects are those related to the modulation of inflammation. These types of lipids counteract the inflammatory activity of Omega 6 fatty acids, according to an article in Biochemical Society Transactions .

In order to increase your intake of this type of nutrient, you need to be sure to eat enough oily fish, raw vegetable oils, and dry nuts. However, remember that the latter is also high in calories. Therefore, they may harm your energy balance.

Discover more: 4 Habits that Make Your Cholesterol Problem Worse

Reduce your intake of alcohol

Until a few years ago, it was a common belief that a glass of wine with meals boosted cardiovascular health. However, modern science has debunked this myth. In fact, we now know that alcohol, in any of its forms, negatively affects heart health and wellbeing in general.

According to a study in the journal Alcohol Research, this substance contributes to an increase in inflammation levels. What’s more, it alters the state of intestinal microbiota and increases the risk of metabolic illness .

At the same time, consuming alcoholic beverages is harmful to the liver and increases the fat associated with this organ. Visceral fat tissue is associate with a variation in a person’s lipid profile and an increase in the oxidation rate of lipoprotein LDL.

Fast intermittently

One of the dietary protocols that are currently popular is intermittent fasting. This may offer advantages when it comes to improving your body composition. In fact, it can reduce inflammation and stimulate autophagy. These processes contribute to an overall mid to longterm improvement in health.

As if that weren’t enough, intermittent fasting may also help to improve the body’s lipid profile and is associated with reduced cardiovascular risk. That’s because it reduced the oxidation of the LDL lipoprotein. Furthermore, along with caloric restriction, it produces positive effects when it comes to the modulation of oxidation.

Intermittent fasting.
Recent studies have determined that intermittent studies can help improve cardiovascular health.

To find our more: Keep Your Body Young With a Weekly Fast

Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables

Antioxidants are essential nutrients when it comes to keeping your heart healthy, and we find an abundance of them in fruits and vegetables. These nutrients are responsible for the bright colors and bitter flavors in these foods. Keep in mind that ingesting sources of antioxidants regularly is essential when it comes to preventing the development of diseases.

When it comes to cardiovascular health, resveratrol from grapes and lycopene from tomatoes are both important. That’s why it best to prioritize the consumption of fresh foods rather than ultra-processed foods, which lack these kinds of nutrients.

Eat healthy for a healthy heart

If you want to improve your cardiovascular health, then you need to maintain a healthy diet that’s based on fresh and nutritive foods. Therefore, you should establish a varied diet that includes plant-based ingredients and lean meats.

At the same time, the intake of fats improves the parameters that were associated with cardiovascular risk in the past. However, you should choose quality fats like Omega 3 fatty acids. At the same time, limit your intake of trans fats

Finally, it’s important to note the latest protocols in nutrition, like intermittent fasting, when it comes to improving heart health. Besides other benefits, this type of diet pattern helps reduce system inflammation levels as well as oxidation.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Peters SA, Singhateh Y, Mackay D, Huxley RR, Woodward M. Total cholesterol as a risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke in women compared with men: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Atherosclerosis. 2016;248:123‐131. doi:10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2016.03.016
  • Casas R, Castro-Barquero S, Estruch R, Sacanella E. Nutrition and Cardiovascular Health. Int J Mol Sci. 2018;19(12):3988. Published 2018 Dec 11. doi:10.3390/ijms19123988
  • Anand SS, Hawkes C, de Souza RJ, et al. Food Consumption and its Impact on Cardiovascular Disease: Importance of Solutions Focused on the Globalized Food System: A Report From the Workshop Convened by the World Heart Federation. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015;66(14):1590‐1614. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2015.07.050
  • Ruan Y, Guo Y, Zheng Y, et al. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and associated risk factors among older adults in six low-and middle-income countries: results from SAGE Wave 1. BMC Public Health. 2018;18(1):778. Published 2018 Jun 20. doi:10.1186/s12889-018-5653-9
  • Rasineni K, Casey CA. Molecular mechanism of alcoholic fatty liver. Indian J Pharmacol. 2012;44(3):299‐303. doi:10.4103/0253-7613.96297
  • Malinowski B, Zalewska K, Węsierska A, et al. Intermittent Fasting in Cardiovascular Disorders-An Overview. Nutrients. 2019;11(3):673. Published 2019 Mar 20. doi:10.3390/nu11030673
  • Calder PC., Omega 3 fatty acids and inflammatory processes: from molecules to man. Biochem Soc Trans, 2017. 45 (5): 1105-1115.
  • Bishehsari F., Magno E., Swanson G., Desai V., et al., Alcohol and gut derived inflammation. Alcohol Res, 2017. 38 (2): 163-171.
  • Pellegrino D. Antioxidants and Cardiovascular Risk Factors. Diseases. 2016;4(1):11. Published 2016 Feb 17. doi:10.3390/diseases4010011

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.