June 15, 2010
Mediterranean Diet Improves Heart Function

A twins study finds evidences that good food will beneficially increase your heart rate variability (HRV). While this might seem counterintuitive, hearts that beat at a more consistent rate are less healthy.

DALLAS, June 15, 2010 – A study of twins shows that even with genes that put them at higher risk of cardiovascular disease, eating a Mediterranean-style diet can improve heart function, according to research reported in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American Heart Association journal.

Using data from the Emory Twins Heart Study, researchers found that men eating a Mediterranean-style diet had greater heart rate variability (HRV) than those eating a Western-type diet. Heart rate variability refers to variation in the time interval between heart beats during everyday life – reduced HRV is a risk factor for coronary artery disease and sudden death.

Your autonomic nervous system will work better on the Med diet.

“This means that the autonomic system controlling someone’s heart rate works better in people who eat a diet similar to a Mediterranean diet,” said Jun Dai, M.D., Ph.D., study author and assistant professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Indiana University in Bloomington.

The Mediterranean-style diet has just about all the classic healthy foods.

Eating a Mediterranean-style diet — one characterized by low saturated fats and high in fish, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, olive oil, cereals and moderate alcohol consumption — reduces a person’s heart disease risk.

How does your diet measure up versus the Mediterranean diet? Try to just substitute out a few less healthy foods for foods in the Med diet. Take small steps toward a better diet rather than try to change all your food habits overnight.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 June 15 11:15 PM  Aging Diet Heart Studies


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