Concerned about heart disease? You should be. As it’s one of the leading causes of death in today’s world, more and more people need to be sitting up and taking action to promote a healthier heart. When it comes to heart disease, much of it can be prevented using smart dietary principles. What you eat on a day to day basis will have a significant influence over your cholesterol levels and therefore, your overall heart-disease risk factor. Protein is a nutrient that you should take extra precaution about. Eat the wrong types of protein and you may only set yourself up for an increased risk of heart disease. Let’s look at the four best proteins to consider consuming if you want to mange heart health for the better. Salmon When it comes to protein for your heart, you really can’t get much better than salmon. Salmon is a rich source of the important omega-3 fatty acids that most people tend to fall short in. This particular fatty acid can help lower inflammation levels in the body, and it’s this inflammation that is often associated with heart disease. It’s also a great source of potassium, selenium, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, as well as vitamin D, all of which can keep your ticker going strong. Almonds While not a major source of protein like salmon is, almonds can still provide some protein to your day and more importantly, are great for enhancing heart health. The fats found in nuts are the unsaturated variety and will help to also lower bad cholesterol levels while making sure your good cholesterol levels stay on track. Almonds can also help lower blood pressure levels as well, providing even further benefits. The calories do add up quickly however, so be sure that you are being mindful about your portion control. Chicken Good old chicken makes the cut here as well. Not only is chicken highly versatile and a lean source of protein that most people enjoy, but it’s also a great choice for keeping your heart-health in check. One study found that one serving of poultry in the diet is associated with a 19% lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to one serving of red meat. So the more often you can replace red meat with chicken, the better. Beans Finally, the last type of protein that you’ll want to be sure to include in your diet is beans. While these also provide a strong source of complex carbohydrates, beans with their high-fiber level will help bring down bad cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure (thanks to their high potassium content), and help to minimize your risk of both cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Swapping out animal sources of protein for beans or lentils at least once a week is an excellent idea to optimize your health. So keep these protein sources in mind and if you want to promote a healthier heart, be sure that you are getting them in.