Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in Western countries, representing almost 30% of all deaths worldwide. Evidence shows the effectiveness of healthy dietary patterns and lifestyles for the prevention of CVD. Furthermore, the rising incidence of CVD over the last 25 years has become a public health priority, especially the prevention of CVD (or cardiovascular events) through lifestyle interventions. Current scientific evidence shows that Western dietary patterns compared to healthier dietary patterns, such as the ‘Mediterranean diet’ (MeDiet), leads to an excessive production of proinflammatory cytokines associated with a reduced synthesis of anti-inflammatory cytokines. In fact, dietary intervention allows better combination of multiple foods and nutrients. Therefore, a healthy dietary pattern shows a greater magnitude of beneficial effects than the potential effects of a single nutrient supplementation. This review aims to identify potential targets (food patterns, single foods, or individual nutrients) for preventing CVD and quantifies the magnitude of the beneficial effects observed. On the other hand, we analyze the possible mechanisms implicated in this cardioprotective effect.
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