New research analyzed data on how Americans eat, as well as the main causes of death and the links between cardiometabolic disease and diet. The results suggest changes in the dietary habits of the American population.
The findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggest that approximately half of all deaths are caused by heart disease, diabetes, or stroke. All these health issues can be linked to a poor diet, according to the researchers.
A Healthy Diet Can Prevent Cardiometabolic Diseases
People should eat more fruits and vegetables, as well as more nuts and seeds. Additionally, omega-3 fats found in seafood, whole grains, and polyunsaturated fats, which are good for the heart, should be part of the menu. The researchers found that people with cardiometabolic disease have one thing in common — they often don't eat the above-mentioned foods.
"Our results are representative of all Americans and help us identify what's most important in the American diet," noted Dr. Renata Micha, assistant professor at Friedman School of Nutrition Science, lead author of the research.
A healthy diet should consists of eating the aforementioned foods. Fruits and vegetables, as well as nuts and seeds, are highly important when it comes to keeping the heart healthy, according to the study.
"In 2012, suboptimal intake of dietary factors was associated with estimated 318, 656 cardiometabolic deaths, representing 45.4 percent of cardiometabolic deaths. The highest proportions of cardiometabolic deaths were estimated to be related to excess sodium intake, insufficient intake of nuts/seeds, high intake of processed meats, and low intake of seafood omega-3 fats," noted the research.
In addition to the foods that one should eat to maintain an optimal level of nutrients, the study also recommends lowering the levels of salt and sugar intake. While fats are not completely off the table, people have to keep in mind that not all fats are equally healthy. This is why fats from nuts are recommended, instead of the fats associated with fast-food.
The importance of a balanced diet is not a surprising scientific fact, as many previous studies have tackled this issue before. However, this research creates a very strong association between dietary habits and cardiometabolic diseases, which makes a healthy lifestyle all the more important.
Cardiometabolic Diseases And Genetic Predispositions
While everybody should pay great attention to food, it's even more relevant for people, who have a family history of heart disease and diabetes, to eat healthily. Latest study pointed out that the risks of developing cardiometabolic conditions are higher in children whose members of the family have the same issues.
In the context of the research, "no family history" meant that grandparents had no cardiometabolic problems, "moderate family history" meant that one to two grandparents suffered from these conditions, and a "strong family history" tag was given to participants who had at least one parent and one grandparent affected by these conditions.
Genetic factors can be held accountable for predispositions when it comes to cardiometabolic diseases. However, with healthy diet and constant monitoring these can be successfully avoided.