Here’s the thing about fats: they’re not all bad. And when it comes to heart health, it’s all about balance. In fact, swapping saturated fats and trans fats for unsaturated fats (along with avoiding refined carbohydrates and sugar) may help prevent more than a million deaths per year worldwide. That seems to be the takeaway from a new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Researchers in Boston recently examined the health and nutrition data for nearly 4 billion adults from 186 countries around the globe. They looked at what types of foods people ate and found a clear link between global dietary habits heart disease-related deaths. What’s more, they determined that more than 700,000 deaths from heart disease could be contributed to eating too many of the wrong fats and not enough of the right ones. Click here for 3 quick tips on eating fats.
Study author Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian and his team recommend adding more heart-healthy fats to the diet and cutting back on unhealthy fats, refined carbohydrates, and sugar. This is in line with what leading experts recommend for cardiovascular health, which includes eating plenty of beneficial fats (especially from fish and olive oil) as well as low-sugar fruits, non-starchy veggies, protein, nuts, and legumes.
February is American Heart Month. To learn more about heart health—including simple tips for heart-healthy eating and living, check out these previous blogs from Renew Life:
3 Steps to a Healthier Heart
Eat these 5 Foods for a Healthy Heart
High Blood Sugar: Why Your Heart Pays the Price
Recipe for a Healthy Heart: Fish at Least Twice a Week
Gut Bacteria May One Day Help Prevent Heart Disease