Inflammatory Foods Photo: TriStateArthritis

Eating fewer inflammatory foods lowers risk of heart disease, stroke ─Study

*Researchers say changing your diet can be a great way to improve your health

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Eating healthier foods has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease.

However, researchers from the American College of Cardiology in a fresh study,   have discovered that following an anti-inflammatory diet is also a good way for consumers to minimise same risks.

Researcher Dr. Jun Li said:  “Using an empirically-developed, food-based dietary index to evaluate levels of inflammation associated with dietary intake, we found that dietary patterns with higher inflammatory potential were associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

“Our study is among the first to link a food-based dietary inflammatory index with long-term risk of cardiovascular disease.”

In advocating that consumers make healthier choices of diet, the researchers analysed health records from over 210,000 participants involved in the Nurses’ Health Studies I and II to explore the connection between inflammatory foods and heart disease risk.

Every four years of the study, the participants completed surveys about their diets.

The researchers compared those responses to their inflammatory diet index, which included foods that had previously been identified as having high levels of inflammation.

It revealed that those who consumed more foods that were linked with the highest levels of inflammation, such as fried foods, soda, or refined sugars, were at a higher risk of developing heart disease than those who followed a more anti-inflammatory diet.

They found that participants who regularly consumed high-inflammation foods were nearly 30 percent more likely to have a stroke and more than 45 percent likely to develop heart disease.

Inflammation has been linked with increasing the risk for several serious health conditions, but consumers can help improve their health by taking control of their diets, according to researchers.

In terms of reducing heart disease and stroke risks, the researchers recommend that consumers incorporate more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and even coffee into their diets.

Consumers are also encouraged to talk to their healthcare providers about their diets to get a better idea of what foods could be increasing inflammation and which foods are better for reducing inflammation.

Dr. Ramon Estruch, one of the researchers, stated: “A better knowledge of health protection provided by different foods and dietary patterns, mainly their anti-inflammatory properties, should provide the basis for designing even healthier dietary patterns to protect against heart disease.

“When choosing foods in our diet, we should indeed be aware of their pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory potential!”

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