Study finds no heart benefits of vegetables. Nutritionists disagree. | Health, Medicine and Fitness
TownNews.com Content Exchange
MONDAY, Feb. 21, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Eating vegetables may not protect you against heart disease, according to a new study that has sparked strong reactions from critics.
the analysis diets of nearly 400,000 UK adults found that raw vegetables could be heart-healthy, but cooked vegetables could not. However, the researchers said that any heart benefits of vegetables completely disappeared when they took into account lifestyle factors such as physical activity, smoking, alcohol consumption, fruit consumption, consumption of red and processed meat and use of vitamin and mineral supplements.
“Our large study found no evidence of a protective effect of vegetable consumption on the occurrence of cardiovascular disease. [cardiovascular disease]”said researcher Qi Feng, an epidemiologist in the Nuffield Department of Population Health at the University of Oxford. CNN.
“Instead, our analyzes show that the apparently protective effect of vegetable consumption against CVD risk is most likely due to a bias…linked to differences in socioeconomic status and lifestyle,” Feng added.
The study was published on February 21 in the journal Nutrition Frontiers.
The results challenge a host of previous research showing that a plant-based diet is good for your heart and overall health, including a recent study showing that a young person could live 13 years longer by eating more vegetables, legumes, whole grains, fruits and nuts.
It’s no surprise, then, that the new study drew a strong response from experts.
“Although this study found that eating more vegetables was not associated with a lower risk of heart and circulatory disease once other lifestyle and other factors were taken into account, this does not mean that we should stop eating vegetables,” Victoria Taylor, senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, said CNN.
“There is good evidence from trials that eating fiber-rich foods like vegetables can help reduce weight and improve levels of risk factors known to cause heart disease,” said Naveed Sattar, professor of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine at the University of Glasgow. CNN. “The present observational study cannot overcome such evidence and its conclusions are debatable because the authors may have over-adjusted for factors that explain low vegetable intake.”
An American nutrition expert noted that the heart health picture is much more complicated than just one factor.
“The results are not surprising. Picking a single component and assuming that just adding it to food, say vegetables, is unlikely to lead to the desired effect,” said Alice Lichtenstein, director and Senior Scientist in the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at Tufts University. Told CNN.
“One thing has become clear over the past decade is that we shouldn’t be focusing on single foods or nutrients, but rather on the whole diet,” Lichtenstein added.
“The best advice we can give people is to focus on your overall diet, which foods to prioritize and which to minimize,” Lichtenstein said. “In general, I think the data still supports the beneficial effects of a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and relatively low in added sugar and salt. “
US dietary guidelines recommend that most adults eat at least 1.5-2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables each day as part of a healthy diet. Translating cups to tablespoons, a healthy vegetable intake would include up to 48 tablespoons of vegetables per day.
Visit Harvard Health to learn more about vegetables and heart disease.
This article was originally published on consumer.healthday.com.
TownNews.com Content Exchange