A creamy snack that won't clog your arteries? Yep, it exists. And you're probably familiar. It's yogurt.
In a study of senior women, those who ate at least half a cup of yogurt per day had healthier arteries from the yogurt benefits compared with those who ate less of the tangy stuff.
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Living a healthy life helps reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk at any age, but it's especially important as you get older. Women age 70 and older are expected to have more heart and artery trouble because of their advanced years. But in a recent study of this group, the women who ate at least half a cup of yogurt per day had a heart-protective edge, thanks to the yogurt benefits. They exhibited better arterial health compared with the women who ate less yogurt, and they also had higher levels of HDL cholesterol (that's the good stuff).
It isn't clear why yogurt benefits include improved artery health and reduced CVD risk. But we do know that yogurt contains beneficial bacteria, and some studies suggest those healthy bacteria might help keep triglycerides and blood pressure low. The yogurt eaters in the study also ate more foods and nutrients linked to better heart health, such as fish, fiber, vitamin E, and fruit. So it might also be that the yogurt eaters tend to grab healthier options at the grocery store as well. Just be sure to reach for the low-fat versions, to help keep your intake of saturated fat down. (Related: Cooking with this spice could also slash your risk of clogged arteries.)
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