Certain proteins, such as fish, poultry, nuts and legumes, and dairy, may benefit heart health. Some evidence suggests they can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Regularly consuming appropriate amounts of certain proteins can help with heart health. However, excessive amounts of certain proteins, such as processed or red meat, may negatively affect the heart.
In addition to eating certain protein sources as part of a balanced eating plan, other lifestyle factors to promote a healthy heart can include exercising regularly, avoiding smoking, and managing stress.
Read on to learn more about which proteins are most beneficial for heart health and how they can contribute to a healthier cardiovascular system.
Fish is a good food source of protein for heart health. A 100-gram (g) portion of white fish, such as cod and haddock, contains around
Read on to learn more about omega-3.
Nuts and legumes are plant-based sources of protein. Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, and peanuts contain healthy fats and minerals.
Legumes refer to food sources that come from the Fabaceae family. They can include items such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas. Legumes tend to be low in fat, high in fiber, and high in protein. For example, 100 g of pinto beans contains
Research from 2023 suggests that an intake of 400 g of legumes a week can provide cardiovascular benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease.
Skinless poultry, such as chicken and turkey, are lean meats that are high in protein. Evidence notes that 100 g of chicken can provide
Substituting red or processed meat with poultry may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease. However, when cooking poultry, people should opt for methods such as grilling, baking, or boiling to avoid adding excessive fats.
Consuming high proportions of ultra-processed foods may put a person at a
Red meat, such as steak and beef, can be high in protein. However, there is
As such, it is advisable for a person to limit their consumption of ultra-processed meats and red meat.
Determining the appropriate amount of protein for heart health depends on various factors, including age, sex, activity level, and overall health.
Generally, it is advisable for 10–35% of a person’s daily energy intake comes from protein sources. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of protein for most adults is roughly 0.8 g of protein per kilogram (kg) of body weight. So, a person weighing 75 kg, or 165 pounds, should consume roughly 60 g of protein per day.
To calculate a person’s specific protein needs, consider consulting a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian who can provide personalized recommendations based on individual circumstances.
Read on to learn more about protein requirements.
While protein is essential for overall health, including heart health, consuming excessively high amounts of protein may have adverse effects on the body.
Some evidence notes that elite athletes can consume more than
Choosing the right protein sources can play a pivotal role in promoting heart health. Fatty fish like salmon, nuts, legumes, lean poultry, and low fat dairy are excellent choices that can contribute to a healthier cardiovascular system.
These foods are rich in nutrients and may help lower the risk of heart disease by reducing inflammation, improving cholesterol levels, and supporting overall heart health.
Conversely, it is advisable to limit or avoid processed food and excessive red meat consumption, as they can increase the risk of heart disease.