Beware of These 3 Common Heart Health Misconceptions

Beware of These 3 Common Heart Health Misconceptions

Did you know that heart disease is the number one leading cause of death for both men and women in America? With that in mind, heart disease is a very serious and life-threatening condition you should try to keep away from. So, how to lower your risk of heart disease? Mind your diet.

Without a shadow of a doubt, the food you eat can remarkably affect your heart health as well as your risk of heart disease. In general, people believe that they should avoid, or at least, limit their intake of eggs, as well as increase their intake of omega-3 fatty acids. However, these are both myths.

On the other hand, you should indeed pack your diet with the vitamins, minerals, and energy you need while keeping your blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight in control. Doing so, you will ensure you have the nutrients needed to function properly throughout the day, as well as keep optimal heart health.

Now, let’s have a look at three common heart health misconceptions you should avoid.

3 Common Heart Health Myths

  1. Coconut Oil is a Heart-Friendly Cooking Option

The myth: To start with cooking oils, many people mistakenly believe that coconut oil is a safe alternative when it comes to keeping a healthy heart. But, coconut oil is very high in saturated fat. Indeed, it has around 50% more saturated fat compared to butter.

Why is this a bad thing? Because saturated fat increases cholesterol and is also connected to heart disease risk. Some experts even claim that some of the saturated fats found in coconut oil called medium-chain triglycerides have a lower negative impact and can actually increase the levels of HDL cholesterol, also known as good cholesterol.

The truth: It has been proven that coconut oil can not only increase the levels of HDL cholesterol but also LDL cholesterol, known as bad cholesterol. Plus, coconut oil only has small amounts of medium-chain triglycerides. Hence, try some other healthier plant-based oils such as olive or canola oil.

  1. Eggs, or at least the Yolks, Aren’t Heart Friendly

The myth: The next common heart health misconception on our list is about eggs. Namely, as egg yolks are high in cholesterol, people believe that they shouldn’t consume eggs, or at least the yolks. They think that it is logical that eating cholesterol results in high cholesterol levels. But, is this right? Let’s see.

The truth: The liver makes most of the cholesterol in the body, i.e. it isn’t delivered through diet. So, although diet plays a role, researchers have proven that cholesterol levels are more linked with the fat you eat, saturated and trans fats, than cholesterol. Hence, eating an egg per day cannot increase your risk of heart attack or stroke, but can provide you with healthy nutrients such as vitamins A and D, and protein.

  1. Omega-3 Supplements Boost Heart Health

The myth: Finally, it is believed that fish consumption can reduce the risk of heart disease due to the unsaturated fatty acids found in seafood, known to reduce inflammation and decrease triglyceride levels. That said, many people turned to omega-3 supplements in the belief that they will help them keep a healthy heart, especially if they don’t eat fish regularly.

The truth: Studies conducted on almost 80,000 patients didn’t find any link between heart disease and omega-3 fatty acid supplements. That said, even though supplements aren’t likely to harm you, you’d better get your omega-3 from your diet.