Home » Heart, type of food and time of consumption all affect heart health

Heart, type of food and time of consumption all affect heart health

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The quality of that that you eat and also the time of day when you give priority to certain foods can make a big difference, from the point of view of heart health: it can reduce cardiovascular risk by 10%. The effect of eating too high in saturated fats, sugars, red meats on the heart and blood vessels has long been known, but now a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism by researchers at Harbin University, China, goes a step further by associating the type of food with the meal of the day.

The data are those of the large survey on the eating habits of Americans, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which contains the numbers relating to almost 28,000 people, who had been asked to report in detail what they ate at each meal of the day , between 2003 and 2016. By elaborating the answers, the researchers defined a profile of maximum and one of minimum risk: the first corresponds to those who eat meat and refined carbohydrates in quantity at dinner, while to the second those who prefer, always for dinner, dishes vegetables, preferably whole grains and very little meat. Thus, if the same amount of animal protein is consumed for breakfast, the effect is less evident, and between one profile and another the risk of developing cardiovascular disease changes by 10%. Considering that every year, in the world, just under 18 million people die from this type of pathology, it is no small thing.

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Modest but daily consumption of nitrate-rich fruits and vegetables has been associated with lower cardiovascular risk

A confirmation indirectly, moreover, it came from another study published a few days earlier on the European Journal of Epidemiology by researchers at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia, who used a similar large population study, this time Danish, the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Study, which collected data from 50,000 people for 23 years.

In this case, it emerged that those who habitually consume a modest amount every day (one cup if raw, half if cooked) of nitrate-rich vegetables such as green leafy vegetables or beets, on average have lower blood pressure values ​​than those who do not. 2.5 millimeters of mercury, and has a decrease in cardiovascular risk ranging from 12% for heart attacks to 26% for those of peripheral vessels. The study also seems to indicate that the beneficial amount is in fact a cup or a half a day, because those who consume the most have no further benefits.

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Roberto La Pira

Agnese Codignola

science journalist

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