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Coffee and plant-based diets linked to lower heart failure risk

Less meat, more coffee. That’s the secret to reducing your risk of heart failure, according to two studies.

Heart failure is a progressive condition in which the heart cannot pump as much blood as the body needs. This results in less oxygen and nutrients being delivered to the rest of the body, and can lead to death.

Kyla Lara at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and her team have analysed data on diet and heart health from more than 15,000 people over the age of 45. They found that people who had been previously diagnosed with heart disease or heart failure were 28 per cent less likely to be subsequently hospitalised for heart failure if they ate a diet consisting mostly of fruit, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and some fish, when compared with people who ate mainly meat and processed foods.

The findings, presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association in Anaheim, California, today, were observational, and couldn’t show cause-and-effect, but they fit with other research, says Lara. “People who eat more plant-based foods eat less processed foods and therefore have less sodium intake, which has been shown to increase risk for high blood pressure and heart failure,” she says.

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