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Dark Meat from Poultry: Better for a Woman’s Heart?

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According to the American Heart Association, simple dietary and lifestyle changes can make a big impact when it comes to heart health. In the fight against heart disease, a healthy diet can make all the difference when it comes to lowering cholesterol and preventing future heart-related events.

It’s generally accepted that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, skinless poultry, and plenty of omega-3 foods such as salmon, trout, and herring, are a winner when it comes to controlling your weight, lowering your blood pressure, and keeping that pesky cholesterol in check -- all of which contribute to heart disease.

When it comes to selecting the right heart-healthy diet, chicken and fish are certainly at the top of the list when it comes to main dishes. According to new research, those wishing to get the most out of their dietary changes may want to switch to dark meat instead of white meat.

In a study focused solely on the impact to a woman’s heart health, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center examined how the nutrient taurine affects a woman’s heart health. An amino acid, taurine is a nutrient which occurs naturally in some fish, the dark meat of chicken and turkey, and breast milk.

It’s believed that taurine may help to regulate levels of mineral salts and water in the blood, improve neurological development, and mental performance if used with caffeine. A popular ingredient in many energy drinks, taurine is also thought to improve athletic performance.

In addition, taurine may possess antioxidant properties which help protect against heart disease. When taking taurine in a supplement form, 3,000 milligrams is generally considered a safe dosage level.

When taurine is consumed in natural form through foods such as fish and dark meat chicken, researchers found an unexpected benefit for women with high blood cholesterol.

Women who consumed high levels of natural taurine showed significantly lower risk for coronary heart disease or CHD.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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