Although the DASH diet is recommended to reduce blood pressure, there had been some "quirks" in previous data leading people to question the program's net effect, Appel said.
A third study confirmed that even small helpings of fruits and veggies can boost your health.
In a Columbia University Medical Center study of 501 patients, just one extra serving of fruits or vegetables was linked with lower levels of both CRP and cholesterol. And adding another gram per day of omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish as well as plant-based oils, also was associated with a drop in CRP levels.
Lowering intake of saturated and trans fats meant reductions in both total and LDL cholesterol, the researchers, led by Dr. Lori Mosca, found.
And more calories from alcohol seemed to move HDL cholesterol levels down, although other measures did not change.
The American Dietetic Association has more on healthy eating.
SOURCES: Lawrence Appel, M.D., professor, medicine, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore; Alfred Bove, M.D., Ph.D., president, American College of Cardiology; Alice Lichtenstein, D.Sc., American Heart Association spokeswoman; Nov. 16, 2009, presentations, American Heart Association annual meeting, Orlando, Fla.
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