These 10 Foods Affect Your Risk of Heart Disease the Most

Vegetables and fruits.

Just 10 foods account for nearly half of all heart disease deaths in the U.S., researchers reported Tuesday.

If people ate less salt and meat and ate more nuts, fruits and vegetables, they could greatly lower their own risk of heart disease, the researchers at Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy found.

It comes together in a handy list of what to eat more of and what to eat less of.

What to eat more of:

  • Nuts
  • Seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Polyunsaturated fats (such as soybean oil, corn oil, walnuts and flaxseed oil)

What to eat less of:

  • Sodium
  • Processed meats
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Red meat (such as steak or pork chops)

Renata Micha of Tufts and colleagues developed their list from national surveys covering 16,000 people from 1999-2012. Volunteers filled out food diaries in real time, and were followed for years after to see what happened to their health.

In 2012, Micha’s team wrote, more than 700,000 Americans died of heart disease, stroke or diabetes. “Of these, an estimated 45 percent (318,656 due to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes) were associated with suboptimal intakes of the 10 dietary factors,” they wrote in their report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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