It’s more important than ever to follow a diet that supports heart health. Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the biggest cause of deaths worldwide and the leading cause of premature deaths in the UK for both men and women. With the UK still living under Covid-19 restrictions countrywide, leading dietitian Sian Porter has teamed up with British Apples and Pears to encourage consumers to make healthier snacking choices at home, to help to lower the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.
Sian Porter comments: “57 per cent of consumers say the pandemic has changed their food habits. Health, especially personal health is now more of a driver than ever before, making people think differently about how they cook, eat and shop2, but we also know people are snacking more mindfully. We know from research that eating fruit, and specific fruits such as apples and pears, is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular Disease (CVD) including strokes and CHD, so snacking on fruit including apples makes sense when you want to eat more healthily and look after your cardiovascular health.”
The latest research, published this year, found that increasing flavanol intake – bioactive compounds found in good amounts in foods including apples – is associated with a statistically significant lowering of blood pressure in men and women with the highest intakes, versus those with lowest intakes. At a population level, flavanol intake could have a role in the maintenance of cardiovascular health.
British Apples & Pears Executive Chair, Ali Capper, says: “A daily apple is such a simple way to support our cardiovascular health and make a healthier snacking choice. Swapping that sugary snack for a crisp, juicy British apple is not only a treat for our bodies, it’s a treat for our taste buds too.”
Being overweight is another risk factor for CVD. As a source of fibre, including pectin, apples have the potential to help to fill us up, keep us feeling fuller for longer and, with the average apple just 77kcal, they can replace higher calorie foods to help people manage their weight as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle. Adjusting our diets to incorporate more fruit and vegetables is crucial to looking after our health including lowering the risk of Cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Picture: Apples. (Baks).