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Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

March is National Nutrition Month, so it’s a great time to talk about how changing your diet can dramatically improve your overall health, and especially your heart health.

If you are ready to make a big change and see big improvements in your health, consider swapping your red meats for a fully plant-based diet. This can have many benefits that will lead to improved overall health, including improved heart health. Here are some of the benefits of switching to a plant-based diet.

Lose Weight

Being overweight significantly increases your risk of heart disease. Switching to a plant-based diet can make it easier to lose weight. Plant-based foods tend to be lower in fat and calories, but they are high in fiber, facilitating healthy digestion.

The good news is that you don’t even need to lose a lot of weight to impact your heart risk. Recent studies suggest that losing as little as 5-10% of your weight can significantly reduce your heart risk, even if you’re still technically obese. And, of course, losing more weight can make an even bigger impact on your overall heart health.

Reduce Blood Pressure

High blood pressure puts stress on your heart and other organs. It can also increase the risk that deposits in your arteries, known as plaque, might break loose, traveling to the brain where they can cause a stroke or to your heart, where they cause a heart attack. It can also lead to pulmonary hypertension, which not only puts your heart at risk but can make it hard to breathe.

Switching to a plant-based diet can help you reduce your blood pressure. Since weight loss can also help you reduce your blood pressure, it’s not entirely clear whether these are two separate benefits or part of the same effect.

Reduce Inflammation

Benefits of a Plant-Based DietInflammation is bad for your heart and blood vessels. We’re not entirely clear how inflammation impacts your heart health. Some argue that links between chronic inflammation and heart disease are caused by elevated weight, which can cause chronic inflammation.

However, some studies suggest that lowering inflammation could reduce your heart attack risk by as much as 15% and might reduce your need for treatments by as much as 30%.

Eating a plant-based diet can dramatically reduce your level of chronic inflammation.

Control Cholesterol

High cholesterol contributes to the development of arterial plaque. Trying to reduce cholesterol is one of the most common goals with drug treatments to prevent heart disease. However, you can often reduce your cholesterol without medications simply by switching to a plant-based diet.

Reduce Your Need for Cardiac Intervention

The goal of preventive wellness is to help you stay healthy, so you don’t need interventional cardiology. Interventional cardiology is a nonsurgical approach to treating some serious heart conditions like heart attack, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, and more. A 2020 study suggested that switching from red meat to a plant-based protein could reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by 14%.

It’s never too late to change your diet to try to improve your health. It can make a difference even after you’ve experienced a heart attack or stroke. A healthy diet is one of the three key pillars of the Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehab, part of our rehabilitation clinic’s philosophy. Along with exercise and a positive attitude, it’s an important strategy for reducing your risk of additional heart attacks or strokes.

Benefit from Our Comprehensive Health and Wellness Programs

South Denver Cardiology Associates is the most comprehensive health and wellness cardiac center in the region. We are dedicated to helping our patients get healthy and stay healthy.

To learn how our wellness programs can help you, please call 303-744-1065 or contact us online today.

 

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As with any health concerns, your specific treatment program should be discussed thoroughly with your primary care physician as well as any specialists who may need to be consulted – like a cardiologist.

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