Scientists from University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf and elsewhere found that the Mediterranean diet may benefit people with peripheral artery disease.
However, most patients do not get appropriate recommendations about their diets.
Although nutrition has been found to have an impact on chronic atherosclerotic disease, there is a lack of corresponding recommendations for patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD).
Previous research has found a Mediterranean Diet based on a daily intake of fruits and vegetables with high fiber, vegetable oil, and unsalted nuts including fish several times a week may have protective effects.
In the current study, researchers aimed to determine nutritional patterns in 319 people with PAD.
All people with PAD symptoms who underwent revascularisation at a single center between 1st May 2018 and 31st December 2021 were asked to fill out a questionnaire on nutritional intake.
The team used an 8-item food rating scale (from never to three times a day) for 15 food groups. For 11 of them, an adapted Mediterranean Diet score was calculated using the participants’ answers.
The team found 71.8% of the participants reported they never received any nutritional information considering their PAD disease.
The average Mediterranean Diet score was 2.7 points (of a maximum of 11) with most patients not achieving the recommended servings per week for fruits (1.6%), vegetables (1.0%), and unsalted nuts (12.2%).
The researchers also found the intake of cereals was sufficient (43.3%). When compared with men, women consumed more fruits and less meat.
Based on the findings, the team concludes that although healthy nutrition may have a positive impact on people with PAD, education, and adherence to a Mediterranean Diet are not enough.
They suggest nutritional patterns should be more focused in future PAD studies to get specific recommendations and nutritional programs as well as patient education.
The research was published in Vasa and conducted by Lara Wolbert et al.
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