Healthy diets shown to cut heart attack risk

For people over the age of 40, their risk of a suffering a heart attack was reduced by almost a third by following a healthy diet, according to research carried out by King’s College London (KCL).
Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study recorded data from 162 men and women between the ages of 40 and 70 years, none of whom smoked. Their blood pressure, cholesterol levels and artery health were among the aspects measured.
They were divided into two groups, each following different diets. One group consumed high amounts of salt, sugar and saturated fat, and low levels of fibre, oily fish and fruit and vegetables. The other group followed a healthy diet, high in fruit and vegetables, oily fish and fibre, whilst decreasing their intake of salt, sugar and animal fat.
Those who followed the healthy diet were found to have an 8 per cent decrease in cholesterol levels, a considerable fall in blood pressure, and a reduced heart-rate (meaning their hearts were not having to work as hard as before). They also lost weight, at an average of 1.3kg each, whilst those following the other diet actually gained weight, after twelve weeks.
“Our findings apply to middle-aged and older people without existing health problems,” said Tom Sanders, a professor at KCL. “This is important because most heart attacks and strokes occur in those not identified as being at high risk.
“We show that adherence to current dietary guidelines which advocate a change in dietary pattern from the traditional British diet (high in saturated fat, salt and sugar, low in fibre, oily fish and fruit and vegetables) would substantially lower that risk.”

Related Articles