How to Aid Heart Health in Six Weeks

New research has shown that following a heart-healthy diet can boost your health almost immediately.
 
When your doctor tells you that you need to make changes for the sake of your health, it can be overwhelming and intimidating. Drastic changes can be difficult. It can feel futile when you don’t see results quickly. Not seeing any improvements or changes in diagnostics tests can be so depressing. However, good news is coming out of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center found that you can actually make positive changes to your health in six weeks if you eat a healthy diet.
 
Even better than that, it was seen in people following three different heart-healthy diets. That means that, while you might need to make significant changes to your diet, you are far more likely to find a style that fits you that if it were only one specific regimen that worked. Following a healthy balanced diet that was low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium worked.
 
It’s possible that macronutrients matter less than simply eating healthy foods,” said corresponding author Dr. Stephen Juraschek, of BIDMC and Harvard Medical School. “Our findings support flexibility in food selection for people attempting to eat a healthier diet and should make it easier. With the average American eating fewer than two servings of fruit and vegetables a day, the typical American diet is quite different from any of these diets, which all included at least four to six servings of fruits and vegetables a day.”
 
Looking at three trending diets — the DASH, high-protein and unsaturated fat-rich diets — they had study participants follow each diet in six-week increments. All three diets lowered cardiac injury and inflammation. All the diets lowered people’s risks for cardiac disease: hypertension, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and weight were all positively impacted.
 
Unprocessed foods like whole fruits and vegetables are relatively low in calories, but good sources of fiber and potassium — making them more filling and helpful in reducing blood pressure,” said lead study author Dr. Lara Kovell, of the Univ. of Massachusetts. “Unhealthy foods can rapidly cause worsening health, but it is reassuring to know that healthy diet can improve health within similar time frames.”
 
We find this news very heartening. When you see results fast, you can get such a rush of satisfaction and pride in your accomplishment that it can really give you a boost to stay on track and keep persevering. And, eating a healthy diet is so much more sustainable than something where you spend your life tracking how much protein or fat or carbs you have had in a day. Eating a diet with less salt, processed food and sweets is intuitive and manageable. And, once you see the results, it might become rewarding for the satisfaction you feel, the self-esteem boost you enjoy and the better health you experience.
October 21, 2019
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