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Moderate-Fat Diet May Be Better at Reducing Heart Risks
Date:11/16/2009

w-fat group than in the moderate-fat group (0.82 mg/L versus 0.63 mg/L), but the authors considered it a good drop in both cases.

While triglycerides, another measure of heart health, increased 11.1 mg/dL on the low-fat diet, they dropped 28.6 mg/dL on the other plan.

Experts familiar with the study aren't surprised by the findings. "This sort of falls within the boundaries of what we used to call the Atkins diet, which was a high-lipid and low-carb diet. Normally this kind of diet suppresses appetite, improves diabetes," said Dr. Alfred Bove, president of the American College of Cardiology. "This diet looks like it does a good job of altering the negative metabolic effects of early diabetes or high carbohydrate stimulation," he said.

"Much of this we've known before, but the idea is that a moderate-fat diet is something most people can tolerate," Bove said. "It probably affects the way insulin is released because if you have a lot of carbohydrates in the diet, you tend to generate a lot of insulin, and insulin is the hormone that lowers blood sugar," Bove explained. "In addition to lowering blood sugar, it also increases appetite so a lot of people on high-carb diets are restimulated to eat more."

Another study found yet more evidence to recommend the famed DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, an eating plan that has been found to lower blood pressure. DASH calls for a diet high in fruits and veggies and low in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. Red meat and sweets are limited as well.

This study showed that the diet lowered coronary heart disease risk for a decade by 18 percent compared with people eating as usual and 11 percent compared with people in a fruit- and vegetable-rich program.

"We took our data and plugged it into the Framingham risk equation used to estimate heart disease risk and found a 20 percent reduction in risk of heart disease," said study senior author D
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