Best Foods To Eat To Lower Heart Disease, Stroke And Diabetes Risks

Your diet can have an impact on your health. There are foods that could promote better health, while other choices could contribute to diseases. 

But eating the right food is not the only thing to consider if you want to stay healthy. It is also important to have it at the right amount.

Some foods, despite being healthy, can be harmful when you eat too much. These include sources of cholesterol, calcium and sodium. 

Managing your daily food consumption offers a number of health benefits. One is reduced risk of having a cardiometabolic disease (CMD), such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

A study, published in JAMA, shows the top 10 foods and nutrients that need to be properly managed to avoid such potentially deadly conditions. Researchers said having too much or too little of these foods can be harmful.  

The list includes:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Seafood-based omega-3 fats
  • Polyunsaturated fats
  • Sodium
  • Processed meats
  • Sweetened beverages
  • Red meat

Suboptimal, or too much or not enough, consumption of these foods has been linked to more than 45 percent of deaths due to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

The findings come from the analysis of 702,308 CMD-related deaths in the U.S. in 2012. The researchers also looked into the dietary intakes of foods and nutrients and data from earlier studies and clinical trials. 

Results showed that very low intake of nuts and seeds, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, omega-3 fats and polyunsaturated fats contributed to 2.3 percent to 8.5 percent of all CMD deaths during the study. Meanwhile, eating too much of sodium, processed meat, sugar sweetened beverages and unprocessed red meat was linked to 0.4 percent to 9.5 percent of all deaths. 

But the study has some limitations. 

“The comparative risk model is not a cause-and-effect model, and it does not prove that changing intakes of these foods and nutrients would reduce CMD disease risk,” Kathy McManus, head of nutrition at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, said in an article posted on Harvard Health Blog. “The particular health effect of each food or nutrient on any individual could be affected by a number of factors including other dietary habits, age, sex, level of physical activity, and genetics.”

But high consumption of sodium, processed meat, sugary drinks and red meat have long been linked to diseases. Avoiding or reducing intake of these foods may help improve your health and reduce your risk of having health problems. 

vegetable pasta Carbohydrates mainly act as a source of energy for cells and help promote proper digestion, heart health and brain function. Pixabay