Reduce the risk of heart disease by going vegetarian or eating nuts, studies say .

The Fast Diet

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If you’re already going meat-free once a week, you might want turn it into a daily habit and go nuts while you’re at it for the sake of your heart.

A recent study found that eating a vegetarian diet cuts the risk of developing heart failure, while another study found that frequent snacking on nuts can also improve your ticker’s health.

The first study, conducted by researchers from Icahn School of Medicine in New York, looked at five diets categorized as convenience (which includes red meats and fast foods), plant-based, sweets, southern and alcohol/salads.

Of the five diets, the study found that people who ate a plant-based diet most of the time had a 42% decreased risk of developing heart failure compared to people who ate fewer plant-based foods when adjusted for age, sex and race of the participants and other risk factors.

“Eating a diet mostly of dark green leafy plants, fruits, beans, whole grains and fish, while limiting processed meats, saturated fats, trans fats, refined carbohydrates and foods high in added sugars is a heart-healthy lifestyle and may specifically help prevent heart failure if you don’t already have it,” said Dr. Kyla Lara, lead author of the study.

The findings were based on data collected from 15,569 participants without known coronary artery disease or heart failure over a four-year period.

The second study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that eating a handful of nuts a couple times a week can cut the risk of heart disease by almost a quarter.

Based on data collected from over 200,000 people, Harvard University researchers found that those who ate walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios, pecans and peanuts two or more times a week were 23% less likely to develop coronary heart disease and 15% less likely to develop cardiovascular disease.