The Penn State Study
Scientists from Penn State did an important study. They found out that eating a diet that’s mostly plants can help keep our hearts healthy.
They discovered that eating less of something called sulfur amino acids can lower the risk of getting heart disease.
What are Sulfur Amino Acids?
Amino acids are like the building blocks that make up proteins. Some of these amino acids are called sulfur amino acids. You find them in foods that have lots of protein. Think of meats, dairy, nuts, and soy.
The scientists found out that the average American eats almost two and a half times more sulfur amino acids than they really need.
Good for Animals, Good for Us
For many years, scientists have known that animals live longer when they eat less sulfur amino acids. The team from Penn State wanted to see if this is also true for humans.
The Study and its Findings
In the study, the scientists looked at the diets and blood tests of more than 11,000 people.
They found that people who ate less sulfur amino acids had a lower risk for heart and metabolic diseases. Metabolic diseases are things like diabetes and high cholesterol.
To measure the risk of disease, the scientists made a score based on certain things they found in people’s blood after not eating for 10-16 hours.
The things they looked at included cholesterol, triglycerides (a type of fat), glucose (sugar), and insulin (a hormone that controls blood sugar).
A Day’s Worth of Food
Here’s an example of what someone might eat in a day to get just the right amount of sulfur amino acids: a slice of bread, half an avocado, an egg, a bit of raw cabbage, some cherry tomatoes, a small piece of chicken, some brown rice, a bit of zucchini, some butter, some spinach, an apple, a small pizza, and a few almonds.
The Average Diet in America
The scientists found that the average American eats almost two and a half times more sulfur amino acids than they really need. They think this is because of the kinds of foods that are common in the American diet.
High Risk, High Intake
People who ate more sulfur amino acids had a higher risk for heart and metabolic diseases. The only foods that didn’t increase this risk were grains, vegetables, and fruit.
The scientists also found a strong link between eating more sulfur amino acids and having a higher risk for heart and metabolic diseases.
Even though the study only looked at people’s diets and risk factors at one point in time, the link was very clear.
What Does This Mean for You?
This study shows that eating certain foods can lead to higher levels of things in your blood that can cause heart and metabolic diseases.
So if you want to keep your heart healthy, it might be a good idea to eat less protein-rich foods.
If you’re interested in keeping your heart healthy, you might also want to read about how eating eggs can help lower the risk of heart disease and how a certain vitamin (Vitamin K2) can also help.
Other things that can help you stay healthy are eating olive oil and taking Vitamin C. Both of these things have been linked to a lower risk of heart problems.
This study was done by a scientist named Xiang Gao and his team. Their findings were published in a magazine called Lancet EClinical Medicine.
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