Eating plant-based dinners may reduce heart disease risk by 10%

May 29, 2021 in Healthy Eating, Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Eating plant-based dinners may reduce heart disease risk by 10%

Plenty of evidence suggests that both the quantity and quality of proteins, carbohydrates and fats you eat play an important role in the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.  Now, results from a nationwide study of Americans suggest that the time of day you eat certain foods also factors in.

Eating too many refined carbohydrates and animal protein foods at dinner rather than breakfast was linked to a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular disease. And including sources of unsaturated fats at dinner was tied to a lower risk.

Cardiovascular diseases like congestive heart failure, heart attack and stroke are the number one cause of death around the world, taking an estimated 17.9 million lives each year.

Eating lots of saturated fat, processed meats and added sugars can raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease. Eating a heart-healthy diet with more vegetables and whole grains and less meat can significantly offset the risk of cardiovascular disease.

About the study

The researchers studied 27,911 U.S. adults' data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and analyzed dietary information collected during interviews with the participants over two non-consecutive days.

Overall, participants who had the highest intake of refined carbohydrates (versus the lowest) had a significantly greater risk of angina and heart attack. Those who ate the most animal protein had a greater risk of coronary heart disease, angina and heart attack.

The researchers then examined the association between eating different types of fats, carbohydrates and proteins at breakfast or at dinner and the risk of heart disease.

They determined that substituting refined carbohydrates and animal protein with high quality carbohydrates, such as whole grains, vegetables and plant proteins reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease by 10 per cent.

"It's always recommended to eat a healthy diet, especially for those at high risk for heart disease, but we found that eating meat and refined carbs for breakfast instead of dinner was associated with a lower risk”, said the lead researcher from the Harbin Medical University in Harbin, China.

Source: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, May 26, 2021.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.