According to a study, people who eat more fruits and vegetables are 42 per cent less likely to develop heart failure than those who consumed fewer plant-based foods.
The team from Icahn School of Medicine in New York recruited 15,569 participants for the diet study and monitored their health for four years.
They studied five different diet types:
- Convenience – red meats, pastas, fried potatoes, fast foods
- Plant-based – dark leafy vegetables, fruits, beans, fish
- Sweets – desserts, breads, sweet breakfast foods, chocolate, candy
- Southern – eggs, fried food, organ meats, processed meat, sugar-sweetened drinks
- Alcohol/salads – salad dressings, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, butter, wine
The findings indicated that the participants, who followed the plant-based diet, were at a lower risk of heart failure and there were no associations for the other four dietary patterns found, reports the Independent.
Lead researcher Dr Kyla Lara from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York said, “Eating a diet mostly of dark green leafy plants, fruits, beans, whole grains and fish, while limiting processed meats, saturated fats, trans fats, refined carbohydrates and foods high in added sugars is a heart-healthy lifestyle and may specifically help prevent heart failure if you don’t already have it.”
The findings about coffee consumption explained that with each additional cup of coffee drunk per week was associated with a lower risk of heart failure and stroke compared to those who consumed no coffee.
The study was carried out using an artificially intelligent machine-learning system.
First author Laura Stevens from the University of Colorado in the US said, “Our findings suggest that machine learning could help us identify additional factors to improve existing risk-assessment models.”
Victoria Taylor, senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation explained that eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, cutting down on salt and maintaining a healthy weight are all important parts of a balanced diet that helps lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The findings from both studies were presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions meeting in Anaheim, California.