Diet and heart health are directly linked with each other and those who are into the high carb or high-fat dinners are generally at a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases than others. According to this new study, switching to a plant-based diet especially for dinner helps to lower this risk to a significant level. The complete study findings are now published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Cardiovascular events for example congestive heart failure, stroke, and heart attack are the top reasons millions of people lose their lives annually. According to an estimate, 17.9 million people by these complications. Interestingly, eating saturated fat, extra sugar, salt, and processed meats add up to this risk by raising cholesterol and affecting heart function. On the other side, eating all heart-friendly foods or switching to a plant-based diet with more vegetables, grains and fruits cut down this risk.
Not just the quality but the meal timing is also important. The study authors confirm that the effects of dinner are more profound for heart health as compared to any other meal of the day. This new study investigated people who prefer eating a plant-based diet, especially at dinner with a large portion of whole carbs, unsaturated fats, and no extra sugar, effectively reduced their risk of heart diseases by at least 10%.
Ying Li from the Harbin Medical University (Harbin, China) is the first author of this study. Li further explains that healthy eating habits are always emphasized by health experts for people with existing heart conditions or those that are on verge of collapsing their health. Processed meats and refined carbs in dinner have a devastating effect on health but if you start taking them in breakfast, this risk would be much lower.
For this study, the research team obtained the data from 27,911 adults based in the US under the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The dietary habits of all these participants were analyzed through direct interviews with them for two days in a line. Based on the data obtained, the research team found an association between dietary choices and time of food, either at breakfast time or dinner. Plant-based diets are generally considered healthy for the body and are suggested to lose weight. A high intake of fats, carbs, and proteins in breakfast generally has more benefits than consuming them at night, especially for heart health.
By plant-based diet, they meant eating all foods obtained from plants and not the vegetables and fruits only. Examples include whole grains, nuts, beans, oils, seeds, and legumes. Interestingly, one doesn’t;t have to quit eating meat or turn vegan/vegetarian to adopt a plant-based diet plan. For heart patients, preferring plant-based foods in dinner has more benefits than any other type of food, without changing overall dietary habits.
Here are a few tips that may help.
- Prefer eating vegetables for dinner replacing meat.
- Change your perception that meat provides more energy than vegetables
- Choose healthily, unsaturated fats
- Take whole grain cereals in the breakfast
- Go green and add green veggies in every meal
- Switch to salads
- Eat fruits in desserts