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A plant-based diet is the best way to avoid heart disease

A report published in the Cardiovascular Research medical journal makes a convincing case that the best way to avoid heart disease is to avoid excess sodium, sugar, trans fat and ultra-processed foods, while eating a diet consisting of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, nuts, fish, eggs, poultry and dairy in their simplest forms, i.e. “whole foods.”

“Excess sodium, sugar, trans fat and ultra-processed foods can increase inflammation and insulin resistance in the blood vessels, which leads to the promotion of plaque in the arteries,” says Michelle Routhenstein, a preventive cardiology dietitian in New York City.

Plaque buildup narrows the inside of your coronary arteries, which supply fresh blood to your heart muscle. If it gets too little, the heart goes into cardiac arrest (no heartbeat) or has a myocardial infarction (aka a heart attack, when parts of the muscle die from lack of oxygen). Too little oxygen flowing to the brain can cause apoplexy, more commonly known as an ischemic stroke.

According to the 2017 Global Burden of Disease study, poor food choices account for almost 50 percent of all cardiovascular disease fatalities.

Read the Washington Post’s story about it here.