"The potency of combining individual cardioprotective foods is substantial and perhaps even stronger than many of the medications and procedures that have been the focus of modern cardiology," explains co-author Stephen Devries, MD, FACC, Gaples Institute for Integrative Cardiology (Deerfield, IL) and Division of Cardiology, Northwestern University (Chicago, IL). "Results from trials emphasizing dietary fat reduction were a disappointment, prompting subsequent studies incorporating a whole diet approach with a more nuanced recommendation for fat intake."
Based on the data from several influential studies, which are reviewed in the article, Dalen and Devries concluded that emphasizing certain food groups, while encouraging people to decrease others, is more cardioprotective and overall better at preventing heart disease than a blanket low-fat diet. Encouraging the consumption of olive oil over butter and cream, while increasing the amount of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and fish promises to be more effective.
"The last fifty years of epidemiology and clinical trials have established a clear link between diet, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular events," concludes Dr. Dalen. "Nutritional interventions have proven that a 'whole diet' approach with equal attention to what is consumed as well as what is excluded is more effective in preventing cardiovascular disease than low fat, low cholesterol diets."
|Contact: Jane Grochowski|
Elsevier Health Sciences