- The new study looks at the intake of inflammatory foods – including red meat, refined grains and sugary drinks – to increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Study participants who ate the most inflammatory foods had a 46% higher risk of heart disease and a 28% higher risk of stroke, compared to those who ate a healthier diet.
- But researchers found that antioxidant-rich foods – green vegetables, yellow vegetables like carrots and peppers, coffee, tea and red wine – are linked to reduced inflammation and heart disease risk. .
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According to a new study, drinking more alcohol and coffee and enjoying some green vegetables can be good for your heart ̵1; especially if you also cut back on processed foods.
Researchers led by the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health studied 30-year dietary data from 210,145 Americans to assess how certain foods affect the disease. our heart and stroke risk.
They found that a diet high in anti-inflammatory ingredients, like processed meats and refined carbs, can increase the risk of heart disease by 46% and stroke by 28%.
In contrast, research shows that participants who eat a lot of anti-inflammatory foods have a lower risk of heart disease.
Specifically, foods like green leafy vegetables, orange and yellow vegetables like carrots and peppers, whole grains, coffee, tea and red wine, are all high in antioxidants and vitamins. showed significant health benefits.
The study is unique in that researchers looked at the cumulative effects of inflammatory foods on the risk of heart disease – in other words: why certain foods are bad for heart health. than other foods over time.
“Our study is one of the first to link the inflammation in a food-based diet to the long-term risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Dr. Jun Li, lead author of the study. and nutrition researcher at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, said in a press release.
Balance anti-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory foods
According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology Nov. 10, inflammatory foods increase stress-causing chemicals in the body linked to the incidence of problems. heart problems.
After controlling for lifestyle factors, they found that people who ate a lot of red meat, processed meats, refined grains and sugary drinks like soda were more likely to have a heart attack or develop heart disease in the process. research submission.
All of these food groups are involved in the biological markers of stress, according to previous research that ranked the ability to cause inflammation by measuring blood proteins in response to specific dietary patterns. can.
Previous research has also linked these foods with poor heart health. A February study found that eating two servings of meat per week had a higher risk of heart disease and there was evidence that cutting meat intake was associated with better cardiovascular outcomes. There are also many studies showing that processed foods, including sugars and other refined carbohydrates, are harmful to health in every way.
In contrast, eating more plant-based, unprocessed foods can help reduce inflammation, research shows. Studies have shown reduced levels of inflammation in people switching to a plant-based diet.
There is also evidence that certain compounds and nutrients in plant foods help reduce inflammation. In particular, phytonutrients called polyphenols help modulate the immune system (and reduce the body’s stress response) and help reduce the risk of disease.
But maybe some of the benefits also come from cutting down on harmful processed foods. More research is needed to better understand how it works.
People with the longest life expectancy live off coffee, wine and green vegetables
These findings are consistent with previous evidence showing that plant-based diets are protective against heart disease, according to a related editorial on the study.
This high-food diet has consistently ranked among the healthiest in the world. These include the Mediterranean diet, which prioritizes healthy fats and produce over red meat and processed foods, and the Blue Zones diet, modeled after regions in the world where people have longest, healthiest life.
One limitation of this study, however, is that it shows a correlation between diet, inflammation, and heart disease risk. More data is needed to determine whether these dietary patterns and associated inflammation cause heart disease.
According to Dr. Ramon Estruch, author of commentary and senior consultant of the internal medicine division at the Clinic Hospital in Barcelona.
“Better knowledge about health protection provided by different types of foods and diets, mainly their anti-inflammatory properties, will form the basis,” Estruch said in a press release. for designing healthier diets to protect against heart disease, ”Estruch said in a press release. “When choosing foods in our diet, we should really be careful about their anti-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory properties.”
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