Plant food protects against heart failure

Plant food protects against heart failure

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Around 26 million people worldwide suffer from heart failure

Heart failure is a common disease that affects approximately 26 million people worldwide. Heart failure occurs when the heart cannot supply the body's main organs with enough blood and oxygen. Experts predict that heart failure will become increasingly important and already classify it as a “global pandemic”.

New research from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota has now shown that a diet that is very fruit, vegetable and fish-based can reduce the risk of heart failure by 41 percent. The results of the study were published by the research team led by Dr. Kyla Lara currently in the journal of the American College of Cardiology.

In contrast to the plant-rich diet, a diet that is high in fat, fried foods, meat and sugary drinks can significantly increase the risk of heart failure!

Link between diets and heart disease

Dr. Kyla Lara, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic, and her team studied the relationships between five main diets and the risk of heart failure in people with no known heart disease. In their study, the researchers analyzed the eating habits of approximately 16,000 people who were on average 45 years old.

The effect of diets on heart failure

The subjects answered a 150-point survey with 107 listed foods. The scientists grouped all participants by diet:

  • “Convenience” diets with meat-heavy dishes, pasta, pizza and fast food.
  • “Vegetable” diets consisting mainly of vegetables, fruits and fish.
  • “Southern” diets with substantial amounts of fried foods, processed meats, added fats and sugary drinks.
  • “Salad / alcohol” diets that contain lots of leafy greens and salad dressings, but also wine, spirits and beer.
  • “Sweet” diets with lots of desserts, sugar and bread.

Dr. Lara and her team accompanied the participants for an average of 8.7 years. During this time, 363 people spent the first time in the hospital for heart failure.

Herbal diets reduce the risk of heart failure

Overall, the research team found that following the southern diet increased the risk of hospitalization due to heart failure by 72 percent. This could be due to the fact that this diet increases the risk of heart failure due to obesity and belly fat, the researchers explain.

The team also found that the risk of heart failure hospitalization was 41 percent lower among people who followed the plant-based diet. In addition, the researchers found no statistically significant connections between the risk of heart failure and the three other eating habits.

Eating habits only observed at the start of the study

The researchers around Dr. Kyla Lara also say that the study participants may have misjudged their food intake, which could have distorted the results.
In addition, the research team only examined participants' diets at the start of the study. These eating habits may have changed over the course of the study. Still, the results support a plant-based nutritional strategy to reduce the risk of heart failure, Dr. Kyla Lara. (fm)

Author and source information

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