Reducing Heart Disease Risk
You might think that everyone who has some cardiovascular event – like a heart attack – would make dramatic lifestyle changes. But that is not the case. Even after a life-threatening event, thousands of people make very few, if any, changes. A recent study of over 4000 adults with no heart disease followed these folks for more than 10 years. Of those who eventually experienced a heart attack, researchers made some interesting discoveries.
Study Results: Those who had a heart attack and made the most lifestyle changes had the lowest death risk from all causes AND the lowest death risk from heart disease.
Dietary changes made by study participants included
reduced intake of processed meats,
consumption of fewer sugar drinks, and
less use of the salt shaker.
Dietary changes made by study participants included eating
MORE vegetables & fruits,
MORE whole grains,
MORE nuts, and
MORE healthy oils.
This study points out that making lifestyle changes can be a challenge for many folks, even with the greatest motivation – having experienced a heart attack and possible death. But this study also indicates that the more dietary changes that you make, the lower your risk of dying. So replacing unhealthy fats for liquid oils and nuts is great, but in addition, working more vegetables into your menus is even better. There is a cumulative effect that is positive. This study is also a reminder that the foods that we bring home to create our own food environment are important for our health.