Hi! I’m robo-Suzie and today I’ll talk to
you about How To Follow A Heart Healthy Diet Plan.
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But back to our topic. Everyone knows that following a heart healthy
diet plan is an important way to reduce the chance of developing heart disease. Now a
new study finds that even those who have genes that put them at an increased risk for heart
problems can get the very same benefit from healthy eating. So, enjoying all those good-for-you fruits
and veggies can overcome your genetic chance of heart attack. Estimates are that almost 20% of the population
has a copy of the “bad” heart gene. So researchers have looked at how diet might affect variants
in this gene – the chromosome 9p21 region. Back in 2007 experts from different countries
found that alterations to this 9p21 area were associated with a higher chance of heart disease
and more specifically, heart attack. Some of us have only one copy of this ‘bad’ gene;
others have two, which is believed to make the chances of heart problems even greater. The research team examined the impact of a
healthy eating plan on over 27,000 subjects of five ethnicities, Arab, Chinese, European,
Latin American and South Asian. Some of the subjects were known to have high-risk genes. In one group, from the INTERHEART study, 3,820
subjects who had already suffered with heart attacks were compared with 4,300 who hadn’t.
The FINRISK research provided the second group, 19,129 subjects, where 1,014 were known to
have heart disease. The INTERHEART research provided different
diet information with diet scores based on raw veggie and fruit consumption. The score
also accounted for risk foods like fried foods, salty snacks and meat. In the FINRISK study, diet details were collated
from a questionnaire listing 130 different food items. The participant received a score
based on their intake of fruit, veggies and berries. If you had at least two of the three
items each day you were given the ‘prudent’ rating. If you had bad genes and ate the worst (least
prudent) diet, heart disease risk increased almost 30%, but the risk of those who had
the bad genotype but were part of the high prudent eating plan group saw no increased
chance of heart attack. This finding gives support to the notion that
diet can make bad genes behave even more badly. The opposite also was shown to be true – the
more healthy the diet less chance of disease. The take home message here is that even with
bad genetics, you might can still do something about them with a diet that’s regularly loaded
with prudent choices like healthful fruits and veggies. Interesting to realize that the choices you
make, every single day at every single meal, can have such an impact on your health. It’s
encouraging to realize that maybe you can, if not change your genes at least make them
less of a threat to your health. If the very solid research on the benefits
of a heart healthy diet plan is supported by further work, it could have an impact for
many at risk of heart disease. The study also serves as the first evidence in an emerging
field known as nutrigenomics, or the study of the way our genes interact with the nutrients
in our diet. That’s it! Thank you.
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