Researchers reveal six essential foods to combat the risk of cardiovascular disease

Heart healthy fruits vegetables food

Inadequate consumption of six key foods, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, fish and full-fat dairy products, is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a global study conducted by researchers at McMaster University and the Institute of Health Population Research. .

The diet score is derived from an ongoing, large-scale global urban and rural epidemiological study (PURE).

A study conducted by researchers from McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences at the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) found that not eating enough of six key foods combined is associated with an increased risk of cancer. Cardiovascular diseases (cardiovascular disease) in adults.

Consuming fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, fish and full-fat dairy products is key to reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and strokes. The study also found that a healthy diet can be achieved in different ways, such as including moderate amounts of whole grains or unprocessed meats.

A global perspective on diet and health

Previous and similar research has focused on Western countries and diets that combine harmful, highly processed foods with foods that are rich in nutrients. This research was global in scope and focused on foods that are generally considered healthy.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that nearly 18 million people died from CVDs in 2019, accounting for 32 percent of all global deaths. Of these deaths, 85% were due to heart attacks and strokes. PHRI researchers and their global collaborators analyzed data from 245,000 people in 80 countries from multiple studies. The results were recently published in European Heart Journal.

An innovative approach to nutritional assessment

The researchers derived the diet score from PHRI’s large-scale ongoing Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological Study (PURE) and replicated it in five independent studies measuring health outcomes in different regions of the world and in people with or without preexisting cardiovascular disease. suffer from it.

Previous diet outcomes, including the EAT-Lancet planetary diet and the Mediterranean diet, have examined the relationship between diet and cardiovascular disease and death mainly in Western countries. The PURE healthy diet score includes a good representation of high-, middle- and low-income countries.

As well as being truly universal, the Pure Healthy Diet points focus exclusively on preventative or natural foods.

Andrew Minty

Andrew Minty, a scientist at the Population Research Institute of Health, is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact at McMaster University. Credit: Population Research Health Institute

Focus on protective foods

We were unique in this focus. “Another diet combines foods that are considered harmful — such as processed and highly processed foods — with foods and nutrients that are believed to protect an individual’s health,” said first author Andrew Minty, PHRI scientist and assistant professor in the Department of Health Research at McMaster University. Methods, evidence and impact.

“There has been an increasing focus recently on increasing consumption of preventative foods to prevent disease. With the exception of large amounts of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, researchers have shown that moderation is key in consuming natural foods.

“Moderate amounts of fish and full-fat dairy products are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. The same health outcomes can be achieved with moderate consumption of grains and meats – as long as they are whole, unrefined grains and unprocessed meats.”

Recommendations for a healthy diet

Pure Healthy Diet Score recommends a daily average intake of: fruits in two to three servings; vegetables in two to three servings; nuts in one serving; And dairy products in two servings. The result also includes three to four weekly servings of legumes and two to three weekly servings of fish. Possible substitutions include whole grains, one serving per day, and unprocessed red meat or poultry, one serving per day.

Reference: “Diet, Cardiovascular Disease, and Mortality in 80 Countries” by Andrew Minty, Mahshid Dehghan, Sumathi Rangarajan, Martin O’Donnell, Weihong Hu, Jill Dagenes, Andreas Wilgauz, Scott A. Lear, Lee Wei, Rafael Diaz, Alvaro Avizum, Patricio Lopez Jaramillo, Fernando Lanas, Sumathi Swaminathan, Manmeet Kaur, K Vijayakumar, Viswanathan Mohan, Rajeev Gupta, Andre Zuba, Romina Iqbal, Rita Yousef, Noushin Muhammadivard, Rasha Khatib, Nafisa Matt Nasir, Kubilay Karsidag, Anika Rosengren, Afzal Alhussain Yusuf Ali, Edelweiss Wenzel-Viljoen, Cevat Chivamba, Antonio Dance, Khalid F. Habib, Karen Yates, Kun Tew, Herzl C. Gerstein and Salim Yusuf, July 6, 2023, European Heart Journal.
doi: 10.1093/eurhartje/ehad269

There was no specific funding for this analysis, although each study contributing data was funded separately and conducted over a 25-year period.

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