diets high in inflammatory meat and refined carbohydrates increase your risk of heart disease and stroke

Inflammation can cause heart disease, and your food choices can cause inflammation. So, could better food choices prevent heart disease? Let’s find out.

One way to find out would be to look at the food choices of 210,145 and follow them for 24-32 years. Everyone was free of heart disease when the study started. What they found was that diets that were higher in foods that cause inflammation were associated with a significant 38% higher risk of cardiovascular disease, a significant 46% higher risk of coronary heart disease and a significant 28% higher risk of stroke. These important increases in risk were true for men and women.

So what foods should you eat, and what foods should you avoid? Inflammatory foods include red meat, processed meat, organ meat, refined carbohydrates and sweetened beverages; anti-inflammatory foods include green leafy vegetables, dark yellow vegetables, fruit, whole grains, tea, coffee and wine.

These results are crucially important but not incredibly surprising. This is the same list of healthy and unhealthy foods that science finds for every health condition: increase fruits, vegetables and whole grains; decrease meat, refined carbohydrates and sugars.


Journal of the American College of Cardiology 2020;76(19):2181-93


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For much more on eating a delicious, heart healthy diet, see Linda’s newest cookbook, The All-New Vegetarian Passport Cookbook, a complete cookbook and health book in one.

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The Natural Path is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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