Every week it seems like there’s a new study either praising or demonizing a particular food — and it makes it hard to know whether that glass of “heart-healthy” red wine is actually good for your health.
That’s why researchers from the American College of Cardiology aimed to sort out exactly which foods we should all be eating for healthier hearts. They published their recommendations in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology this month after reviewing more than 60 studies.
Unsurprisingly, researchers touted the benefits of fruits and vegetables and advised against sugary, processed foods.
Some foods were found to offer health benefits — but not enough to outweigh their potential risks. Dairy, for example, has been linked to low blood pressure, but is high in saturated fat, meaning it’s best eaten in moderation. And while numerous studies have linked alcohol to reduced risk of heart disease, drinking can also lead to liver disease and certain cancers.
“There is no perfect, one-size-fits-all dietary pattern for preventing heart disease,” study co-author Andrew Freeman, MD, FACC, director of cardiovascular prevention and wellness at National Jewish Health, said in a statement. “But, most of the evidence continues to reinforce that a predominantly plant-based diet lower in fat, added sugars, added salt, processed foods, and with limited if any animal products seem to be where the data is pointing us.”
So, what should you be eating? Here’s what Freeman and his team deemed the heart-healthiest foods — plus some other research-backed foods you should add to your diet.