It has been proven from various scientific studies that plant-based food helps with maintaining better cardiovascular health and lowers the risk of heart diseases. Due to this, many people are switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet. But, along with this, you must also pay attention to the quality of plant foods that you are eating. Furthermore, keep in mind that plant-based food is a generic term, and it also includes junk foods like French fries, potato chips, cookies, etc. In this article, we will focus on the points that you should keep in mind when switching to a plant-based diet for cardiovascular health.
Making The Right Choice
A healthy and balanced plant-based meal usually contains vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and healthy oils. When it comes to heart health, a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber helps to lower LDL or bad cholesterol, and plant-based food is rich in these nutrients. Apart from this, it helps to reduce and manage weight, which is equally important in preventing heart diseases. However, food products like white bread and white rice are plant-based, but unhealthy because they are highly processed. Also, they have a high glycaemic index, i.e. consuming them leads to increased blood sugar levels. Likewise, consuming processed fruit juice is unhealthy because it is not the same as eating fresh fruit.
An ideal plant-based meal for heart health consists of proper portions of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy oils, and proteins. Some of the popular healthy plant-based oils for maintaining cardiovascular health are canola and olive oil. Finally, avoid using oils that contain trans-fat, refined grains, and products like all-purpose flour.
Different Types Of Plant-Based Diet
There are mainly three plant-based diets depending on the type of food consumed, and they are listed below.
- Overall Plant-Based Diet: In this type of diet, people consume plant-based food while reducing the consumption of animal food products like dairy, eggs, fish, meat, mayonnaise, fast foods like pizza, soups, etc.
- Healthy Pant-Based Diet: In this type of diet, people only consume healthy plant-based food, while eliminating all types of animal food products and by-products.
- Unhealthy Plant-Based Diet: In this type of diet, people consume more unhealthy plant-based food like juices, processed foods like white bread, potato chips, sweetened beverages, etc.
Research has shown that people who consumed healthy plant-based food had the lowest risk of developing heart disease. These are the points that you should bear in mind when switching to a plant-based diet to maintain good cardiovascular health.