Ever wondered what’s the number one murderer in America? It’s not a serial killer—it’s a silent killer, more commonly known as heart disease. And it steals about 610,000 lives each year. What’s even more shocking is that heart disease is very much preventable through a healthy diet and exercise. But with so many diets out there claiming their heart-healthy benefits, it can be difficult to decipher which is optimal for your ticker. Thankfully, a new study has done so.
Israeli researchers from the University of the Negev and Soroka University Medical Centre compared a low-fat diet to a low-carb diet to determine which is most effective at reducing fatty tissue outside of the heart (scientifically termed pericardial fat). The findings revealed that a low-carb diet lowered fat deposits around the heart as well as decreased lipids and waist circumference.
To come to this finding, 80 participants with a high BMI and abdominal obesity were split into two groups where one group was fed a Mediterranean-style low-carb diet rich in heart-healthy fats while the other group consumed a low-fat diet for 18 months. At the end of the duration, both groups dropped an approximate average of 8.2 pounds, but the Mediterranean-style dieters had improved heart disease risk factors as well as decreased fat around the heart. What’s more, those who stuck with the low-carb Mediterranean diet also noticed a decrease in waist circumference especially.
Since researchers agree that in order to strengthen your heart and shed weight while you’re at it, eating a diet that’s low in carbs and full of heart-healthy fats (think salmon and nuts) as well as fruits and vegetables is the way to go. Now that you know which foods to shop for, remember to cross these 15 Foods That Tax Your Heart off your grocery list.