Mediterranean diet is best for your heart

Toronto, April 15 (Inditop) A study by an Indian-origin Canadian researcher has established that the Mediterranean diet is the best for the health of your heart.

High on plant foods, vegetables, fresh fruit and nuts, and low on red meat, wine and dairy products, the Mediterranean diet has long been considered to be the best for cardiovascular health.

But now a comprehensive study by Sonia Anand of McMaster University near here has established that vegetables, nuts, monounsaturated fatty acids and “overall healthy dietary patterns such as the Mediterranean diet” are best for reducing the risk of heart disease. Anand and her team of researchers evaluated about 200 dietary studies of the past 60 years in the US, Europe and Asia to find their link to coronary heart disease (CHD).

Titled ‘A Systematic Review of the Evidence Supporting a Causal Link Between Dietary Factors and Coronary Heart Disease,’ their study also found that glycemic load of foods and trans fatty acids are equally harmful for heart.

“The study concludes there are certain food groups or dietary patterns, that are beneficial, including vegetables, nuts, monounsaturated fatty acids, and overall ‘healthy’ dietary patterns such as the Mediterranean diet,” Anand was quoted as saying in a university statement Tuesday. “We hope our comprehensive review will clarify healthy and harmful foods as related to heart disease for the general public,” she said. “Concluding there is strong evidence that certain dietary patterns, or food groups which are clearly beneficial or harmful, is an easy message for health professionals to send to the general public,” added the Indian-origin professor.

According to her, their ground-breaking study will encourage health professionals and dieticians to disseminate information to the public “in a less factual and more people-friendly manner.” However, Anand had a word of precaution, saying that more research needs to be done to back their conclusions.

“What we have demonstrated is that, for some food groups and nutrients, there has been relatively weak information. Even though one study may be positive, there may be three others that are negative or conflicting. We really need to look at the totality of the evidence in the field before promoting something to the public at large,” she said.