Plant-based diets and their affect on coronary heart disease

FoodFacts.com wanted to share this important information regarding coronary heart disease with our community. This new information may have an impact on the dietary habits of you, your family or friends.

While we’ve always known that risk for coronary disease is impacted by one’s diet, and that a plant-based diet can, in fact, stop the disease from progressing or even actually reverse it, a new article is suggesting that fats in your diet play a large part in your risk of ever developing it.

W.C. Willet (Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health) has written an article linking consumption of fats to coronary heart disease risk. In publishing his report, Dr. Willett reviewed 95 various studies. What he found might help us understand how each type of dietary fat influences the development of coronary heart disease.

The findings state that trans fats are clearly related to the risk of coronary heart disease and should be completely eliminated from our diets. Noted is the presence of partially hydrogenated oils in so many food products. Also noted is the fact that both beef and dairy products contain natural trans fats.

Moving on to saturated fats, his findings indicate that consumption should be reduced and most optimally replaced by polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. In addition replacing saturated fats with specific carbohydrates (that do not contain added sugars) will reduce coronary heart disease risk even further.

While Dr. Willett also specifies that it may be important to achieve a low ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. While both of these are important to reduce the risk of heart disease, it is felt that Americans have a high intake of omega-6 from vegetables. He cites both corn and soybean oil as undesirable because they contain high levels of omega-6.

What he’s concluding is that by reducing red meat and dairy while increasing nuts, fish and better vegetable oils, we can improve our intake of the fatty acids that protect us from heart disease. But he goes further stating that diets emphasizing fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low in refined starches, sugars and salt will do the most to reduce the possibility of developing heart disease. In other words, a plant-based diet is the way to go to ward off this disease.

FoodFacts.com wants you to have the information you need to make the best decisions for yourself and your family when it comes to dietary choices. Read more here: http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Nutrition/Diet/dietary_fat_and_coronary_heart_disease_0815120714.html