Study: UK dietary food guidelines could cut heart attack risk

By Joyeeta Basu contact

- Last updated on GMT

The study advised participants to increase the consumption of fruit and vegetables and whole grains
The study advised participants to increase the consumption of fruit and vegetables and whole grains

Related tags: Nutrition

Following the UK dietary guidelines could reduce the risk of heart attacks in middle-aged and older men and women by up to 30%=, say researchers.

Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study’s authors said the aim was to compare risk factors of following the guidelines with those associated with a traditional British diet.

Results showed that selecting a diet high in fruits, vegetables and oily fish and low in saturated fats could make a difference. The study said such a diet lowered blood pressure and lipids, which in turn could reduce the risk of heart attacks by a third in healthy middle-aged and older people.

Contrasting diets

The team used a parallel-designed randomised controlled trial in 165 healthy non-smoking men and women aged 40–70 years. The participants followed a traditional British diet (control group) or an adapted one (dietary guidelines group) over a 12-week period.

The researchers measured the participants’ blood pressure (BP), vascular function, and CVD risk factors.

The key dietary targets for the dietary guidelines (DG) diet were to reduce salt intake, total fat, saturated fatty acids, and non-milk extrinsic sugars. It increased the consumption of oily fish to once a week, fruit and vegetables to five times a day, and whole grains to at least twice a day.

Participants were also advised to choose low-fat dairy products and select lean cuts of meat and to avoid meat products, sugar sweetened beverages, and added salt.

The control diet was a nutritionally balanced traditional British diet without restriction on salt and sugar intake. It was based around white bread, pasta, breakfast cereals and white rice, and potatoes with red meat, meat products, or poultry. The intake of oily fish and whole-grain cereals was limited to less than once a month.

Adherence to the dietary advice was confirmed both with dietary records and by measuring specific biomarkers in the participants' blood and urine.

Research results

While the average body weight in the DG group fell by 1.3 kg, that in the control group rose by 0.6 kg after 12 weeks. Waist circumference was also 1.7 cm lower in the dietary group compared to the control group, the study said.

In the dietary guidelines group compared with control, the daytime systolic BP was 4.2 mm Hg

lower …[and] the total cholesterol: HDL cholesterol ratio was 0.13 lower​,” said the researchers.

No significant change was recorded in markers for insulin sensitivity, which predicts the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  “Despite the fall in added sugar intake, total sugar intake was unaffected because the added sugars were replaced by sugar supplied by fruit.

Selecting a diet consistent with current dietary guidelines compared with a traditional UK dietary pattern would be predicted… to reduce the risk of fatal and nonfatal CVD by 15% and 30%, respectively, in the general population​,” the team concluded.

Source: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.097352

How effective are current dietary guidelines for cardiovascular disease prevention in healthy middle-aged and older men and women? A randomized controlled trial​”

Authors: D. P. Reidlinger, et al

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Say Cheese To Vegan

Say Cheese To Vegan

Webinar

Consumers have numerous expectations on plant-based cheese. A strong demand to meet an immediate consumer need for high quality in terms of taste and texture...

Register for free

Formulating meat and fish alternatives?

Formulating meat and fish alternatives?

Univar Solutions | 30-Nov-2021 | Product Brochure

Whether you are entering the plant-based industry as a new brand or looking to expand your existing line, turn your knowledge of plant-based foods into...

Formulating plant-based products?

Formulating plant-based products?

Univar Solutions | 30-Nov-2021 | Product Brochure

Join Univar Solutions for an inspirational and interactive session on key market opportunities and the Big Bets, top tips on how to achieve the successful...

Raising the Bar on Sugar Reduction

Raising the Bar on Sugar Reduction

ADM | 30-Nov-2021 | Case Study

Download the sweet success case study to discover how we created a Superstar Bar with a less-is-more attitude. Our soft and chewy cereal bar has 45% less...

Related suppliers

1 comment

UK dietary guidelines out of date.

Posted by Julie Vincent,

Latest research proves saturated fat is not the precursor for CVD as was once believed. It is now known that inflammation is the primary cause CVD. High cholesterol is the result of a repair response to the damage caused by high sugar, high insulin,trans fats and oxidized polyunsaturated fats.The USA dietary guidelines reflect this change of thinking, so why is the UK still living in the past?

Report abuse

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars