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The 10 Best Diets for Better Heart Health, Ranked by Cardiologists

Surprise! The Mediterranean diet falls in the third slot. Learn about the top two diets, plus the other fads that don’t quite make the grade.

Ali Redmond

Ali Redmond

Reviewed by Dietitian Jessica Ball, M.S., RD

The Mediterranean diet is often applauded as one of the best diets for overall health. It is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and seafood and legumes and light on dairy and meat (and, as a result, low in saturated fat, too, which is a topic still up for debate in the heart-health world). It’s a heart-smart way to eat, and can be beneficial in many other areas of health as well. Mediterranean dieters also tend to have lower risk for certain cancers, cognitive decline, type 2 diabetes and more.

Circling back to heart disease risk, the Mediterranean diet tied for first in the U.S. News and World Report‘s 2022 rankings for the best diets for heart health, but a surprising new victor came out on top in 2023. That 2023 best diet for heart health also earned a gold medal in a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association, published April 27, 2023, in its journal Circulation. The U.S. News and World Report health panel and AHA cardiologists now agree that the DASH diet (which is short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) appears to be the best diet for heart health.

Read on to learn more about what makes DASH such a heart-smart eating style, then study up on how nine other popular diets ranked in the evidence-based analysis by AHA professionals.

Related:What’s Better for Heart Health: Cardio or Strength Training? Here’s What Research Says

What This Heart Health Study Found

If you’ve scrolled through TikTok lately, chances are high that you’ve been

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Healthy Eating Habits To Replace Fad Diets

Diet trends fade quickly, so instead of focusing on crash dieting, embrace habits that aid in long-term weight loss. Here are seven healthy eating habits you should implement into your daily routine:

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Practise Portion Control

By paying attention to serving sizes and practising portion control, one can simply maintain calorie intake low and avoid overeating.

Whole Foods

Focus on eating a variety of whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources.

Mindful Eating

Pay attention to your hunger and fullness signs and eat carefully to thoroughly enjoy your meals.

Cook Your Own Food

Cooking at home allows you to control the ingredients in your meals and can be a fun and rewarding experience.

Avoid Processed Foods

Processed foods are often high in added sugars, salt, and unhealthy fats, so limit your intake and opt for whole-food options whenever possible.

Cheat In Moderation

It’s okay to enjoy your favourite treats in moderation, but be mindful of your portions and frequency of indulgences.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is important for overall health and can also help you feel full and satisfied.

Eating clean and healthy is something you should incorporate into your daily routine not only to lose weight but also to stay fit from the inside out.

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Can a diet help you live 10 years longer?

Spare a thought for the billionaires of Silicon Valley. While the rest of us have been coming to terms with a weekly food shop that’s inflating quicker than the ego of an Apprentice contestant, they’ve been engaged in a cost-of-living crisis of their own.

From shelling out £7000 to have the contents of their brains uploaded to the cloud after they die (CEO of OpenAI Sam Altman) to parting with up to £170,000 to have bodies cryogenically frozen in liquid nitrogen (Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal) it seems the race to live forever is alive and well – if only you can afford to compete.

But while they were re-writing cheques and logic (anyone know how to defrost a body?) researchers were cooking up a more accessible solution.

In a paper published in the journal Cell, biologist Valter Longo examined a century of research on the influence of nutrition on ageing. As director of the Longevity Institute in California and professor of gerontology (the study of ageing), Longo has spent his career unpicking the mechanics of what was once deemed pot luck – your endpoint.

Now, he’s built a blueprint. Dubbed the longevity diet, he claims that by making subtle tweaks to both what and when you eat, you can increase your lifespan by up to 13 years. But will you be ordering from his menu?


Adjusting your nutrition to optimise your health: ground-breaking, it isn’t. And it’s true that much of the longevity research confirms what we already know about diets that are rich in fruit, vegetables, nuts, cereals, fish and unsaturated fats.

‘Diets which contain antioxidants, potassium and omega-3 support a reduction in cardiovascular disease and obesity risk, as well as protecting the brain from ageing,’ says Charlotte May, nutritional therapist and lead health coach

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