Eating Habits to Lower Heart Disease Risk

Diet plays a significant role in determining our risk of developing chronic diseases - especially when it comes to cardiovascular disease. To help lower your risk of this particular disease, Bianca Tamburello, RDN, shares some helpful eating habits that you can easily incorporate into every day life.


Pan-fried salmon with some vegetables

Eat fresh salmon twice a week: According to Tamburello, “omega-3 fats found in fatty fish, are linked to better triglyceride levels and blood pressure, higher HDL or ‘good cholesterol,’ and the prevention of the plaque formation in arteries.”


Replace red meat meals with beans and legumes: “This could be as simple as replacing your beef taco with black bean tacos or even cooking with half red meat and half beans,” Tamburello says. “Beans and legumes are lean plant proteins, low in saturated fat making them a great diet choice. A meta-analysis of 14 studies found that eating beans regularly was tied to lower mortality risk from heart disease.”


Swap refined grains for whole grains: “Research shows that a diet full of refined grains, such as white bread and white rice, can increase the risk of heart disease,” Tamburello points out.

However, whole grains have been proven to help reduce “bad” cholesterol, also known as LDL, in our body and boost “good” cholesterol, also called HDL. So, to lower your risk of heart disease, reach for “whole-grain options like whole wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, farro, and whole wheat pasta.”


Snack on berries: “Berries such as raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries are full of antioxidants known to protect the body’s cells from damaging free radicals,” says Tamburello.


Eat more leafy greens: The importance of consuming generous servings of leafy greens cannot be understated! “Leafy greens like kale, collard greens, and spinach are packed with vitamin K and nitrates, two nutrients known to protect arteries and contribute to heart health,” confirms Tamburello.

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