In a new study, a group of researchers at Harvard Medical School examined how different diets could impact the risk of heart disease.
They conducted a study called the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) trial, where they asked 459 adults to follow one of three diets for 8 weeks.
The first diet was called the “control” diet, which was a typical American diet. The second diet was the “fruits and vegetables” (F/V) diet, which focused on eating lots of fruits and vegetables.
The third diet was the DASH diet, which was similar to the F/V diet but also included lean protein, whole grains, and low-fat dairy.
The researchers measured the participant’s blood pressure and cholesterol levels before and after the 8-week period.
They used a special tool called the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Pooled Cohort Equation to estimate each participant’s risk of developing heart disease over the next 10 years.
After analyzing the data, the researchers found that the DASH and F/V diets reduced the participants’ 10-year risk of heart disease by about 10%, compared to the control diet.
This means that eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help protect your heart.
Interestingly, the researchers also found that the DASH diet was slightly more effective than the F/V diet when it came to reducing the risk of heart disease.
This was because the DASH diet was able to lower participants’ blood pressure more effectively than the F/V diet.
However, the DASH diet also had a small negative effect on participants’ levels of “good” cholesterol, which slightly increased their risk of heart disease.
Overall, these findings are important for doctors and patients to know when making decisions about how to prevent heart disease.
By choosing a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, you can help protect your heart and reduce your risk of developing heart disease!
How to prevent heart disease
Heart disease is a serious and common health condition that affects many people around the world.
Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to help prevent heart disease and protect your heart health. Here are some tips:
Eat a healthy diet: A balanced and nutritious diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats can help reduce your risk of heart disease.
Avoid processed foods, high amounts of saturated and trans fats, and excessive salt and sugar intake.
Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can help improve your heart health and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week.
Quit smoking: Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease, so quitting smoking or avoiding it altogether can help protect your heart.
Manage stress: Chronic stress can contribute to the development of heart disease, so finding healthy ways to manage stress and relax, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises, can be helpful.
Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of heart disease, so maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise is important.
Monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol levels: High blood pressure and high cholesterol levels are risk factors for heart disease, so it’s essential to get regular check-ups and manage these conditions if they are present.
By following these steps and making healthy lifestyle choices, you can help reduce your risk of heart disease and protect your heart health.
The research was published in The American Journal of Cardiology and was conducted by Sun Young Jeong et al.
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