Now there's one more reason to eat your fruits and veggies. It seems that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy foods and low in saturated and total fat significantly reduces serum homocysteine levels, a risk factor for heart disease (see study news on homocysteine above).
Researchers from John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland put 118 subjects on a control diet, which was low in fruits and vegetables and dairy, but had a fat content typical of North American diets. Then, during an 8-week trial, study subjects received one of three diets: the original control diet; the control diet plus high levels of fruits and vegetables; or a combination diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy, and low in overall levels of saturated and total fat.
In addition to a significant drop in blood homocysteine levels, the research team also found that homocysteine was significantly associated with changes in blood levels of folic acid. They found that the higher the level of folic acid in the blood, the lower the homocysteine level. To get more folate in your diet reach for spinach, oranges and orange juice, asparagus, artichokes, lentils and whole grains.
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