Foods linked to inflammation could harm people with heart failure

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Scientists from the University of Kentucky have discovered a correlation between diet, inflammation, and heart failure.

Their findings indicate that a diet high in pro-inflammatory foods can significantly impact the health of heart failure patients.

Diet and Inflammation:

Pro-inflammatory Foods: Red meat, refined grains, and high-fat dairy products can increase inflammation.

Anti-inflammatory Foods: Olive oil, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are known to decrease inflammation.

Research Methodology and Findings:

The team used data from a previous study where 213 heart failure patients maintained food diaries over four days.

Using an index to categorize foods based on their inflammatory properties, they determined the inflammatory scores of the participants’ diets.

Over the subsequent year, it was found that patients with higher inflammatory scores were more than twice as likely to be hospitalized or die compared to those with lower scores.

Unlike prior studies which majorly focused on heart attacks and strokes, this research specifically concentrated on outcomes related to heart failure.

Heart Failure and its Prevalence:

As per the American Heart Association (AHA), 6.2 million adults in the U.S suffer from heart failure, a condition where the heart is unable to pump blood and oxygen efficiently to support other bodily organs.

Dietary Recommendations for Heart Health:

Diets like the Mediterranean diet and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet are renowned for being heart-healthy.

The Mediterranean Diet emphasizes olive oil, fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and minimal amounts of dairy, eggs, fish, and poultry.

The DASH Diet, designed to reduce blood pressure, also promotes vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, but allows for more protein sources like low-fat dairy, meat, and poultry.

It is advised to adopt plant-based and Mediterranean eating patterns, while minimizing the intake of processed meats, refined carbs, cholesterol, sodium, and sweetened beverages.

Additional Readings for Enthusiasts:

For those interested in nutrition, delving into studies on optimal vitamin intake timings for preventing heart disease and the potential benefits of green tea in reducing blood pressure can be insightful.

For heart health aficionados, studies on drug combinations reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack by half, and the preventive capabilities of Aspirin against recurrent heart attacks and strokes can be of interest.

The research, undertaken by JungHee Kang and team, was presented at the American Heart Association’s virtual Scientific Sessions.

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