The Best Diet for Heart Health & Lowering Cholesterol
What Foods Help Lower Cholesterol & Improve Heart Health?
You probably know that you need more than your fork to help you lower cholesterol and improve your heart health – but, it’s a great place to start! The best diet for heart health focuses on nutrient-dense foods, not calorie-dense. For example, a sweet potato is nutrient-dense, while a potato chip is calorie-dense. Registered Dietician, Kara Burnstine at the Pritikin Center explains, “If it doesn’t have a nutrition label, in other words, if it grows from the ground or a tree, it’s good for you! It’s great – you don’t have to bother trying to read a label.” Evidence shows eating more vegetables daily reduces the risk of common diseases, including heart disease. About 800g/day of fruits and vegetables combined is associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease.
Best 6 Vegetables and Fruits for Heart Health
Eating more of these foods is associated with a lower rate of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality, according to an extensive scientific review of 95 studies:
- Citrus fruit
- Green leafy vegetables
- Cruciferous vegetables
Simple Tips to Lower Cholesterol, from a Registered Dietician
“Focus on fiber, if you have high cholesterol,” suggests Kara. That’s easy if vegetables are always the biggest part of your plate. Kara explains the expression, “Forks over knives,” which can be helpful for those with high cholesterol, as it encourages eating less meat and more vegetables. It’s possible to make vegetables taste good.
Learn How to Make Vegetables Delicious at the Pritikin Cooking School.
7 Foods that Help Lower Cholesterol
If you’re looking for foods that researchers suggest may help lower LDL cholesterol, these are among those noted in studies:
- Green tea
What’s the Best Diet for Heart Health?
Focusing on cholesterol oversimplifies the very complex processes involved with heart disease. Heart health is more than lowering cholesterol. Blood pressure, insulin resistance, and inflammation also play important roles in heart health.
Experts and studies have shown a healthy lifestyle can help – one that includes a healthy diet for heart health, targeted exercise, a positive mindset, and sleep strategies.
Pritikin named one of the Best Diets for Heart Health by U.S News & World Report
A panel of experts identified the best heart-healthy diets of 2023 and ranked Pritikin among the top.
The Pritikin Center is an immersive experience where guests discover strategies and tools to reduce LDL cholesterol, lower inflammation, and improve insulin resistance and blood pressure. Scientific studies show a stay at Pritikin can improve risk factors for heart disease and mortality.
- 83% No Longer Needed Medication – J Cardiac Rehab
- 23% Reduction in LDL Cholesterol – Arch Int Med
- 33% Drop in Triglycerides – Arch Int Med
Can You Stop the Progression of Heart Disease?
Be inspired! “Our body is resilient. It wants to heal itself – we just need to give it the opportunity,” explains Lon Ben-Asher, Registered Dietician at the Pritikin Center.
Mounting evidence shows there are things you can do today to support your heart’s health. You can experience improvements in lifestyle diseases, such as heart disease, by adopting better strategies for how you traverse decisions about your food, daily movement, sleep, and stress.
Get All the Details of a Stay at the Pritikin Center in Your Inbox
4 Lifestyle Changes That Will Make Your Heart Healthier & Lower Cholesterol
Researchers investigated whether lifestyle changes could reduce the risk of subsequent cardiovascular disease events amongst a group of 1259 adults, aged 60-77. Among those with a history of heart disease, making multiple lifestyle changes helped lower their risk of having cardiovascular disease events.
Here’s what lifestyle changes work to improve heart health:
- Healthy eating counseling
- Exercise training
- Cognitive training
- Management of heart and metabolic risk factors
The problem can be finding help for all of these in one place.
The personal trainer at the gym isn’t going to have the food expertise a Registered Dietician has. Nor would a Registered Dietician know the stress management techniques a Psychologist can offer. Hardest of all, these different experts may give you conflicting advice. The secret to success is a concise healthy lifestyle plan created based on your body’s needs by an entire team of health experts, working together.
Overcome high cholesterol or blood pressure with a personalized, physician-led experience.
Discover How to Lower Your Cholesterol & Improve Your Heart Health
Live the life you want. There’s no need to struggle with your health. Come learn how to optimize your health with a lifestyle that helps you thrive. Thousands of guests have come to Pritikin to improve their heart health – because it works!
Knowledge. Confidence. Results.
An immersive wellness experience that inspires healthy changes, and teaches life-long heart-healthy approaches to eating, movement, stress, and sleep. Over 100 peer-reviewed studies show Pritikin improves multiple risk factors of heart disease.
Guests can choose to customize their stay at Pritikin to include in-depth, one-on-one consultations with a Physician or Cardiologist. Review a comprehensive analysis of your blood work with them. The Pritikin physician works collaboratively with your other on-site health experts, to monitor your health and facilitate the creation of a heart-healthy plan to help you reach your goals.
Ready for a Heart Healthy Lifestyle?
We’re here to help.
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- The effects of food on LDL cholesterol levels: a systematic review of the accumulated evidence from systematic reviews and meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials. Nutr Metab Cardio Dis 2021 May 6; 31(5):1325-1338.
- Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality – a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. Int J Epidemiol 2017 Jun; 46(3): 1029-1056.
- A pulse-based diet is effective for reducing total and LDL-cholesterol in older adults. Br J Nutr 2012 Aug 23, 108(S1): S103-S110.
- Raw and cooked vegetable consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease: a study of 400,000 adults in UK Biobank. Front Nutr 2022 Feb 21.
- World Health Organization. Healthy diet. World Health Organization. (2020) Available online at: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/healthy-diet (accessed January 2022).
- Effect of a multi-domain lifestyle intervention on cardiovascular risk in older people: the FINGER trial. Europ Heart J 2022 June 1;43(1): 2054-2061.