The Perfect Diet To Avoid Heart Attack: What You Should
Nutrition

The perfect diet to avoid heart attack: what you should eat and what you should avoid

Several studies have shown that a good diet reduces the chances of developing cardiovascular disease by 60%.

A vegetable stew.

Eat more nutritious plant-based foods is healthy for the heart at any age, including young adults and postmenopausal women, according to two studies from the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota and Brown University (United States), published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, a journal of the American Heart Association.

Specifically, in both studies, which looked at different measures of consumption of healthy plant foods, the researchers found that both young adults and postmenopausal women had fewer heart attacks and they were less likely to develop cardiovascular disease when they ate more healthy plant foods.

In this sense, in the first study, entitled A Plant-Centered Diet and Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Disease during Young to Middle Adulthood, has evaluated whether the long-term consumption of a vegetable centered diet and a shift to a protein-focused diet beginning in young adulthood are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in midlife.

“Previous research focused on specific nutrients or foods, but there is little data on a vegetable-focused diet and long-term risk of cardiovascular disease,” explains the study’s lead author, Dr. Yuni Choi, from the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Choi and his colleagues examined diet and the onset of heart disease in 4,946 adults enrolled in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. Participants were between 18 and 30 years of age at the time of enrollment (1985-1986) in this study and free of cardiovascular disease at that time.

Participants included 2,509 black adults and 2,437 white adults, and the percentage of women was 54.9 percent. Participants were also analyzed by educational level (equivalent to more than high school vs. high school or less).

These underwent eight follow-up examinations from 1987-88 to 2015-16, which included laboratory tests, physical measurements, medical records, and evaluation of lifestyle factors. Unlike randomized controlled trials, participants were not instructed They weren’t asked to eat certain things or told about their scores on the dietary measures, so the researchers were able to collect unbiased data about their usual diet over the long term.

After detailed dietary history interviews, the quality of the participants’ diets was scored based on the ‘A Priori Diet Quality Score’ (APDQS), composed of 46 food groups in years 0, 7 and 20 of the study.

The food groups were classified into beneficial foods (such as fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole grains); adverse foods (such as French fries, high-fat red meat, salty snacks, pastries, and soft drinks); and neutral foods (such as potatoes, refined grains, lean meats, and seafood) based on their known association with cardiovascular disease.

Thus, people who ranked in the top 20 percent of the long-term diet quality score (meaning they ate the most nutrient-dense plant foods and the fewest negatively rated animal products) had 52 percent less likely to develop cardiovascular disease, after accounting for several factors (such as age, gender, race, average calorie intake, education, parental history of heart disease, smoking, and average physical activity).

60% less chance

In addition, between the seventh and twentieth year of the study, when the participants’ ages ranged from 25 to 50 years, those who improved the quality of their diet the most (eating more beneficial plant foods and fewer negatively rated animal products) had 61 percent less likely to develop subsequent cardiovascular disease, compared to participants whose diet quality declined more during that time.

Finally, Choi reminds that a diet centered on vegetables “is not necessarily vegetarian.” “People can choose from plant-based foods that are as natural as possible, not heavily processed,” he says, adding that “people can include animal products in moderation from time to time, such as non-fried poultry, non-fried fish, eggs and low-fat dairy.

Benefits for postmenopausal women

The other study, entitled Relationship Between a Plant-Based Dietary Portfolio and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: Findings from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Prospective Cohort Study, the researchers, led by Dr. Simin Liu of Brown University, tested whether diets that included plant-based foods and thought to lower “bad” cholesterol (known as wallet diet) were associated with less cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women.

This diet included dried fruit; vegetable proteins from soybeans, beans or tofu; viscous soluble fiber from oats, barley, okra, eggplant, oranges, apples, and berries; plant sterols from fortified foods and monounsaturated fats found in olive and canola oil and avocados; along with a limited intake of saturated fat and dietary cholesterol.

The study included 123,330 women who, when they enrolled in the study between 1993 and 1998, were between the ages of 50 and 79 (mean age was 62 years) and did not suffer from cardiovascular disease. The study group was followed up until 2017 (mean follow-up time of 15.3 years). The researchers used data from self-reported food frequency questionnaires to score each woman on adherence to the wallet diet.

According to the study, compared to women who followed the wallet diet less often, those who lined up the most were 11 percent less likely to develop any type of cardiovascular disease, 14 percent less likely to develop coronary heart disease and 17 percent less likely to develop heart failure .

“With greater adherence to the dietary pattern of wallet, an association with even fewer cardiovascular events would be expected, perhaps as much as cholesterol-lowering drugs. Still, an 11 percent reduction is clinically significant and would meet the minimum threshold of any person to obtain a benefit and the results indicate that the wallet diet produces benefits for heart health”, explains the lead author of the study, Dr. John Sievenpiper.