Eat Drink Better

Published on October 22nd, 2008 | by Derek Markham


How to Lower Your Risk of a Heart Attack by 30%

Fruits and veggies are heart healthyA new study of dietary patterns in 52 countries reveals that a typical Western diet of fried foods, salty snacks, and meat increases the risk for heart attacks by 35%.

The good news?

You can lower that risk by changing your diet.

The INTERHEART study analyzed almost 6,000 heart attack cases and compared them to over 10,000 control cases (without known heart disease). It included 16,000 participants living in 52 countries around the world, confirming that “the same relationships that are observed in Western countries exist in different regions of the world.” (Salim Yusuf, D.Phil., the study’s senior author)

“A simple dietary score, which included both good and bad foods with the higher score indicating a worse diet, showed that 30 percent of the risk of heart disease in a population could be related to poor diet.” – Romania Iqbal, Ph.D., lead author

The bad news:

  • Globally, people consuming a typical Western diet high in eggs, fried foods, salty snacks, and meat had a 35% greater risk of having a heart attack compared to those consuming little or no fried foods, eggs, or meat. Vegetarians have been saying that for years…

The good news:

  • The study identified a unique dietary pattern that researchers termed “Oriental” because of a higher content of food items such as tofu and soy sauces typical of an Oriental diet. The Oriental pattern showed no relationship with heart attack risk. So bring on the tofu!

Here’s the best part:

  • People who eat a diet consisting of more fruits and vegetables had a 30 percent lower risk of heart attack (compared to those eating little or none.)

Break out the veggies, gorge on fruit, and lower your risk of heart disease by 30%.

Now that’s affordable healthcare for everyone!

Original study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association

Image: emdot on Flickr under Creative Commons License

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About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!

2 Responses to How to Lower Your Risk of a Heart Attack by 30%

  1. Carla says:

    I don’t agree with all points mentioned, but everyone can benefit from more fruits and veggies for sure.

  2. I don’t know that any of the above is news, and certainly can’t figure out how anyone could disagree with the points mentioned above.

    Eating foods in as close to their natural state as possible goes a long way to address all of your health needs. Water retention is a serious problem for many people, and it is damaging their heart. Most water retention stems from eating processed foods with lots of salt and sugar.

    Heart disease is still the biggest killer in the western world and education is your best defense.

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