Coronary artery disease (CAD) and peripheral artery disease (PAD) are common health problems that can lead to major adverse heart disease events (MACE) and major adverse limb events (MALE).
These conditions can cause a range of symptoms, including chest pain, shortness of breath, leg pain, and difficulty walking.
While there are many factors that can contribute to the development of CAD and PAD, diet is thought to play an important role.
A healthy diet can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and improve overall health, while a poor diet can increase the risk.
A recent study published in the European Heart Journal aimed to identify dietary patterns associated with heart disease and limb risks in patients with CAD and/or PAD.
The study analyzed data collected from patients enrolled in the Cardiovascular Outcomes for People Using Anticoagulation Strategies trial.
It is a large, international study designed to evaluate the effectiveness of different anticoagulation strategies for preventing heart attacks and strokes in patients with CAD and/or PAD.
The study included 27,583 patients from 33 countries who were followed for an average of 30 months. The patients’ diets were assessed using a short food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) at baseline.
Two dietary pattern scores, the modified Alternate Healthy Eating Index and Mediterranean Diet Score, were calculated to measure the overall quality of the patients’ diets.
The modified Alternate Healthy Eating Index is a measure of diet quality that includes 11 components: vegetables, fruits, nuts and legumes, whole grains, polyunsaturated fatty acids, trans fats, ratio of white to red meat, alcohol intake, sodium intake, sugar-sweetened beverages, and multivitamin use.
The Mediterranean Diet Score is a measure of adherence to the Mediterranean diet, which is characterized by high consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and fish, and low consumption of red meat and dairy products.
The researchers showed that poor diet quality was associated with a higher risk of recurrent adverse heart disease events and major adverse limb events in patients with chronic CAD and/or PAD.
The results also showed that there was a strong association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and the risk of recurrent major adverse limb events.
These findings are important because they suggest that diet may be an important modifiable risk factor for heart disease in patients with CAD and/or PAD.
The study provides further evidence to support the importance of a healthy diet for preventing heart disease and improving overall health.
What to eat to prevent heart disease
Eating a healthy diet is an important way to reduce your risk of heart disease.
A heart-healthy diet is one that is low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol, and high in fiber, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Here are some specific foods to include in your diet:
Fruits and vegetables: Aim to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. These foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help to protect your heart.
Whole grains: Choose whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and whole-wheat bread instead of refined grains like white rice and white bread. Whole grains are rich in fiber, which can help to lower cholesterol and improve heart health.
Lean protein: Choose lean sources of protein like chicken, fish, beans, and tofu instead of red meat and processed meats. These foods are lower in saturated fat and can help to lower your risk of heart disease.
Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds are rich in heart-healthy fats and fiber. Just be sure to eat them in moderation, as they are also high in calories.
Fish: Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to lower inflammation and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Low-fat dairy: Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese. These foods are a good source of calcium, which is important for heart health.
In addition to these foods, it’s important to limit your intake of saturated and trans fats, which can raise cholesterol levels and increase your risk of heart disease.
Saturated fats are found in animal products like meat and butter, while trans fats are found in many processed foods like cookies and fried foods.
By making healthy food choices and limiting your intake of unhealthy fats, you can reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your overall health.
The study was published in The BMJ.
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