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Current Vascular Pharmacology


ISSN (Print): 1570-1611
ISSN (Online): 1875-6212

Review Article

Features of a Balanced Healthy Diet with Cardiovascular and Other Benefits

Author(s): Antonis A. Manolis, Theodora A. Manolis, Helen Melita and Antonis S. Manolis*

Volume 21, Issue 3, 2023

Published on: 03 May, 2023

Page: [163 - 184] Pages: 22

DOI: 10.2174/1570161121666230327135916

Price: $65


Background: Cardiovascular (CV) disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death globally. Besides lack of exercise, obesity, smoking, and other risk factors, poor nutrition and unhealthy/ unbalanced diets play an important role in CVD.

Objective: This review examined data on all issues of the CV-health benefits of a balanced diet, with tabulation of nutritional data and health-authority recommendations and pictorial illustration of the main features of a CV-healthy diet.

Methods: PubMed and Google Scholar were searched for relevant studies and reviews on diet and CV health.

Results: For a long time, there has been evidence, corroborated by recent findings, that pro-vegetarian diets have a beneficial influence on serum lipid levels, markers of inflammation and endothelial function, prooxidant-antioxidant balance, and gut microbiome, all probably contributing to reduced CV risk. Worries about the nutritional adequacy of vegetarian diets are circumvented by obtaining certain nutrients lacking or found in lower amounts in plants than in animal foods, by consuming a wide variety of healthy plant foods and through intake of oral supplements or fortified foods. Well-balanced diets, such as the Mediterranean or the Dietary-Approaches-to-Stop-Hypertension diets, provide CV-health benefits. Nevertheless, a broad variety of plant-based diets with low/minimal animal food intake may allow for a personalized and culturally adjusted application of dietary recommendations contributing to the maintenance of CV health.

Conclusion: Universal adoption of a balanced CV-healthy diet can reduce global, CV and other mortality by ~20%. This requires world-wide programs of information for and education of the public, starting with school children and expanding to all groups, sectors, and levels.

Keywords: Healthy diet, cardiovascular disease, mediterranean diet, vegetarian diet, vegan diet, DASH diet, plant food, animal food.

Graphical Abstract
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