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Jan 20, 2011

The DASH Diet Lowers Blood Pressure and One's Risk for Heart Disease

The DASH diet also called the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension can substantially lower one's risk for hypertension and cardiovasular disease.  The DASH diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, poultry, fish, and nuts, while reducing the intake of saturated fats such as red meat, sweets, and sugar-containing beverages.  The DASH diet was associated with an eight percent decrease in LDL ( low-density lipoprotein ) cholesterol and a reduction of the systolic blood pressure by 6 mm Hg.  The DASH diet showed a ten year cardiovascular reduction of eighteen percent.

Another study on how the diet can lower our risk for heart disease.

Processed Meat Linked to Cardiovascular Disease & Diabetes

This is the first study done that shows that processed meat not unprocessed meat can increase one's risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.  The study in Circulation May 2010 shows that eating 50 grams of processed meat such as a hot dog or two slices of deli meat increases one's risk for cardiovascular disease by forty two percent and increases one's risk for diabetes by nineteen percent.  Red meat and processed meats have the same amount of saturated fats and cholesterol but processed meat has four times the amount of sodium and fifty percent more preservatives such as nitrites than unprocessed red meat.  Processed meats included smoking, curing and salting.  Processed meats have also been associated with increasing blood pressure because of the sodium content and nitrate preservatives have been shown to promote atherosclerosis and reduce glucose tolerance. With a forty percent increase risk of heart disease with 50 grams or less than two ounces which is easily eaten for one meal one can double their risk for heart disease. 

This study does not suggest that unprocessed red meat is healthy.  Unprocessed red meat is loaded with cholesterol and saturated fat thus also increases one's risk for heart disease and high cholesterol.

Eliminating Saturated Fats & Carbs Reduces the Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

A meta-analysis study published in March 23, 2010 in PLoS Medicine shows that replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats such as fish and vegetable oils such as canola, soybean, salflower or sunflower oil reduced once risk for heart disease significantly.  Many individuals have replaced saturated fats with refined carbohydrates.  Recent meta-analysis studies show that replacing saturated fats with refined carbohydrates does not lower one's risk for cardiovascular disease. In order to lower one's risk for cardiovascular disease both saturated fats and refined carbohydrates need to be reduced. The risk of cardiovascular disease was reduced by 19% for those individuals who lowered their saturated fat intake and increased polyunsaturated fats.  With each 5% increase in polyunsaturated fats there was a 10% decrease in heart disease.  This study is significant.  If your decreasing saturated fat intake and replacing the saturated fats with refined carbohydrates there is no benefit.