Tuesday, October 21, 2008


We have all known, ourselves, that what we eat affects our health, particularly heart disease. The fast foods that our young ones ( and some not so young ones ) are growing up in, contributes severely to the rise in obesity, hypertension and diabetes. The so-called "Mac-culture". This recent copy of Circulation, published a study by researchers from McMaster University, Canada on diets and their effects on the heart. Dr Iqbal and colleagues studied the diet of 16,000 subjects across 52 countries, and found that there are basically three diet patterns across the world.
1. The typical Western Diet, rich in fats, salt and meat, with a generous portion of carbs. This increase heart attack risk by 30%.
2. The goodie, goodie, fruits and green vege diets, which lower heart attack risk by 30%
3. The Oriental diet, rich in soya sauce, and also carbs and tau-fu. And also full of greens. This has little effect on heart attack risk. It looks like the riskier salt and sauce is balanced by the good effects of tau-fu and veges.
Well, what I gather is that what we eat can affect our risk of heart trouble by up to 30%. Obviously greens and fruits are good ( but you may have to watch out for pesticides, fertilisers and what have you ). I was also a,little puzzled by the lack of data on the South Asain ( Indian ) diet. I think that they would rank as high in the risk scale as the Western Diet. Yet, going through 16,000 individuals, the authors had no comments on the South Asian diet?
I also wish they had looked into the issue of exercise too, to add to the message that healthy lifestyle is good and great. For the heart, at least.

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