Proper diet is the key to prevent a second (and first) heart attack and stroke

Friday, January 04, 2013 by: John Phillip
Tags: heart attacks, prevention, diet

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(NaturalNews) Although it may not sound like a cutting edge scientific discovery, researchers have confirmed that eating a proper diet and avoiding processed convenience foods can dramatically lower the risk of suffering a second heart attack or stroke. Health-minded individuals and alternative medical practitioners have known this for many years, as healthy eating also is the key lifestyle factor in preventing vascular and many other chronic illnesses in the first place. Nonetheless, it may signal an important turning point in mainstream medicine to have this information published in the well respected journal of the American Heart Association, Stroke.

A research team from the McMaster University's Population Health Research Institute in Canada has found that a heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fish significantly reduces the chance of a second heart attack and stroke in people with cardiovascular disease. The scientists determined that heart healthy dietary modifications prove much more important to prevent future vascular events as compared to those prescribed the typical pharmaceutical cocktail of dangerous drugs.

Lead study author, Dr. Mahshid Dehghan noted "At times, patients don't think they need to follow a healthy diet since their medications have already lowered their blood pressure and cholesterol -- that is wrong... dietary modification has benefits in addition to those seen with aspirin, angiotensin modulators, lipid-lowering agents and beta blockers." To assess the impact of diet on cardiovascular health, researchers conducted a five year study on a cohort of 32,000 patients with an average age of 66.5 years.

Natural food diet lowers risk of heart disease by nearly one-quarter

To conduct their study, the team utilized food frequency questionnaires to determine consumption of milk, vegetables, fruits, grains, fish, nuts, meat and poultry over the past 12 months. They then used two dietary indexes to assess diet quality to provide a composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, or congestive heart failure. During the 56 month study period, the scientists recorded 5,190 events that followed a graded association between diet quality and the recurrence of cardiovascular events.

The researchers found that those with the healthiest eating patterns that excluded sources of sugar, hydrogenated fats and chemical preservatives experienced a "consistent benefit" over and above the benefits of taking medications to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Healthy eating was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease by more than 20 percent.

The authors concluded "Physicians should advise their high-risk patients to improve their diet and eat more vegetables, fruits, grains and fish.... this could substantially reduce cardiovascular recurrence beyond drug therapy alone and save lives globally." Although this study focused on patients with existing cardiovascular disease, health-conscious individuals understand that a diet consisting primarily of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and organic meats will dramatically lower the risk of vascular and most deadly chronic illnesses.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.

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